Removal of sinks and introduction of ‘water-free’ patient care

Sinks in patient rooms are associated with hospital-acquired infections | Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control

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Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of removal of sinks from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patient rooms and the introduction of ‘water-free’ patient care on gram-negative bacilli colonization rates.

Conclusions: Removal of sinks from patient rooms and introduction of a method of ‘water-free’ patient care is associated with a significant reduction of patient colonization with GNB, especially in patients with a longer ICU length of stay.

Full reference: Hopman, J. et al. (2017) Reduced rate of intensive care unit acquired gram-negative bacilli after removal of sinks and introduction of ‘water-free’ patient care. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 6:59

Patient- and Family-Centered Care: First Steps on a Long Journey

Sevransky, J. (2017) Critical Care Medicine. 45(5) pp. 757–758

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ICUs are among the most intimidating locations in the hospital for patients and families. Some machines are connected to the surface. Others invade the substance of the body. Life-sustaining devices and their connections often impair communication and performance of the activities of daily life. Even professionals-turned patients have difficulties communicating effectively when on the other side of the stethoscope (1) in an ICU.

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How nurses support families of intensive care patients towards the end of life

Families of people dying in intensive care need to receive personalised communication and ongoing support, and be involved in the dying process | NIHR

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Researchers gathered evidence on how nurses care for patients and their families in intensive care when life-sustaining treatment is withdrawn. The included studies explored the care of the family before, during and after the process. Most of the studies in this small, mixed methods review were qualitative.

Reviewers identified three main ways, or themes, in which families are supported. First, information and good communication, such as the focus on careful use of language, was seen commonly. Second, by careful management of treatment withdrawal itself, for example by clarifying the gradual change expected when medically focussed life-sustaining treatments are withdrawn and family centred end-of-life care begins. Lastly they described a common focus on making the nursing contribution more visible, such as using techniques to build lasting memories for families.

 

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Palliative care in the trauma ICU

O’Connell, K. & Maier, R. Current Opinion in Critical Care. Published online: September 21 2016

Purpose of review: The benefits of palliative care for critically ill patients are well recognized, yet acceptance into surgical culture is lagging. With the increasing proportion of geriatric trauma patients, integration of palliative medicine within daily intensive care services to facilitate goal-concordant care is imperative.

Recent findings: Misconceptions of palliative medicine as it applies to trauma patients linger among trauma surgeons and many continue to practice without routine consultation of a palliative care service. Aggressive end-of-life care does not correlate with an improved family perception of medical care received near death. Additionally, elderly patients near the end of life often prefer palliative treatments over life-extending therapy, and their treatment preferences are often not achieved. A new geriatric-specific prognosis calculator estimates the risk of mortality after trauma, which is useful in starting goals of care discussions with older patients and their families.

Summary: Shifting our quality focus from 30-day mortality rates to measurements of symptom control and achievement of patient treatment preferences will prioritize patient beneficence and autonomy. Ownership of surgical palliative care as a service provided by acute care surgeons will ensure that our patients with incurable injury and illness will receive optimal patient-centered care.

Read the abstract here