Current issue
Search journal
Archived issues
NZMJ Obituaries
Hotline (free ads)
How to subscribe
How to contribute
How to advertise
Contact Us
Other journals
The New Zealand Medical Journal

 Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 18-June-2004, Vol 117 No 1196

[full text] [PDF]

Caring for patients and families at the end of life: withdrawal of intensive care in the patientís home
Sue Mann, David Galler, Pamela Williams, Paul Frost


To describe our experience of transporting 17 intensive care patients home to die.

A brief report.

Mixed medical/surgical intensive care unit (ICU).

After discussions with their families, 17 adult patients in whom ongoing care was deemed either inappropriate or futile were transported home. Once there, intensive care modalities of ventilation and vasopressor therapy were withdrawn. The patients were sedated initially with intravenous morphine and if death was not immediately imminent, subcutaneous morphine was administered. In these cases where death took longer than 2 hours, the patients were managed with the assistance of district nurses, the family general practitioner, or staff from the South Auckland Hospice.

All the patients in this report were Maori or Polynesian and all families reported this as a positive experience. Since completion of this report, we have taken our first European patient home to die.

Current issue | Search journal | Archived issues | Classifieds | Hotline (free ads)
Subscribe | Contribute | Advertise | Contact Us | Copyright | Other journals