To examine early outcomes for pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum undergoing single-ventricle palliation and to determine risk factors for mortality.
Retrospective observational study.
Tertiary paediatric critical care unit.
Risk factors for mortality were sought for infants after the primary intervention whether surgical shunt or ductal stent.
We reviewed outcomes of 19 infants with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum undergoing single-ventricle palliation between July, 2000 and July, 2008. Echocardiograms, cardiac catheterisation findings, anaesthesia, and critical care management, as well as autopsy reports were reviewed. We modelled survival after surgery and looked for predictors of early mortality. A total of 19 infants underwent single-ventricle palliation and seven of these died. The risk of death was increased by a lower arterial pH at induction of anaesthesia (p = 0.01), a lower systolic blood pressure (p = 0.01), and technical problems during surgery (p = 0.03). On admission to the critical care unit, a lower mixed venous saturation (p = 0.02) and presence of tachyarrhythmia (p = 0.02) were associated with the need for mechanical support within the first 48 hours.
There is a high early mortality for those who undergo single-ventricle palliation. It is higher for those who are haemodynamically compromised before surgery; technical problems, and haemodynamic instability during surgery also increase mortality.
The Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) provides all tertiary vascular care for southern Saskatchewan and portions of southwestern Manitoba. The present study was undertaken to determine the regional mortality rates following rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and to compare these rates with the published literature. A retrospective chart review was undertaken on all cases of ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (rAAA) presenting to the RQHR between March 1, 1996, and February 28, 2006. The demographic data and clinical outcomes were collected from hospital charts by a single reviewer. Over the 10-year study period, 101 cases of rAAA were presented to the RQHR. Patient demographics and comorbidities were comparable to other studies in the published literature. Thirty-seven percent of patients presented with systolic blood pressure below 90 mm Hg, and 7% had no recordable blood pressure. The overall mortality was 25%. Mortality risk was not statistically different between patients presenting within Regina (30%) and those referred from a distance of more than 35 km (21%, P = .353). Seven patients were treated palliatively, and 94 proceeded to open surgical repair. Within the group of patients undergoing surgery, there was a 19% mortality rate. The data show a low observed mortality rate for rAAA presenting to the RQHR. The favorable outcome of the patients is not associated with preselection bias of patients transported long distances to specialist vascular care.
This study aimed to highlight the trajectory of palliative care costs over the last five months of life in five urban centres across Canada.
The study sample was comprised of 160 terminally ill patients and their main informal caregivers.
A first interview took place in the patient's home, and subsequent follow-up interviews were conducted by telephone at two week intervals until the patient's passing.
Participants were asked to provide information on the goods and services they used related to the patients' health condition, and on informal caregiving time.
The overall costs of care gradually increased from the fifth to the last month of the patients' life. A large part of this cost increase was attributable to inpatient care. Among outpatient care costs the largest increase was observed for home care. Informal care costs were particularly high over the last 3 months of life.
The knowledge gained from this study would be useful to policy makers when developing policies that could help families caring for a terminally ill loved one at home.
Since 1992 it has been possible for cancer patients in the county of Southern Jutland to receive terminal care in their own homes. An essential part of this management is effective pain relief; more than 60% of cancer patients have chronic pain. In cases where oral medication or epidural administration of morphine is insufficient or complicated by side-effects continuous subcutaneous morphine administration may be suitable. The patient may be treated in this latter manner for long periods of time. A case story is described where a cancer patient was treated with continuous subcutaneous morphine in his home for more than 257 days without complications or major side-effects.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the results of standardised total mesorectal excision of rectal cancer with particular reference to local recurrence and survival. DESIGN: Prospective open study. SETTING: Central hospital, Norway. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Local recurrence, survival. RESULTS: The resectability rate was 90% (107/118), of whom 81 (76%) underwent curative resection. The overall local recurrence rate in patients who underwent primary resection was 9% with an overall five-year survival rate of 53%. In patients who had had curative operations the local recurrence rate was 4% (3/81), with an overall five year survival of 65% and a cancer specific survival of 85%. None of the patients who had palliative treatment survived five years. In 12 patients whose tumours were thought to be unresectable but who were operated on, of whom nine were given additional radiotherapy (46 Gy), 5 (42%) developed local recurrences and the five year cancer free survival was 25%. CONCLUSION: Total mesorectal excision and strict adherence to the surgical principles of anatomical dissection in the pelvis and washing out of the rectal stump before anastomosis reduce local recurrences to a minimum. In patients with locally advanced, fixed cancers, preoperative irradiation with more than 46 Gy must precede operation to achieve local control.
The aim of this study was to report our experience with palliative stent treatment of superior vena cava syndrome.
Between January 2008 and December 2009, 30 patients (mean age 60.7 years) were treated with stents because of stenosed superior vena cava. All patients presented clinically with superior vena cava syndrome and according caval stenosis confirmed by computed tomography. The causes of stenoses were non-small cell carcinoma in 22 patients and small cell carcinoma in 8 patients.
In all patients the stents were placed as intended in all patients there was an immediate clinical improvement with considerable reduction in the edema of upper extremities and head. There was, however, continous dyspnea in five patients (17%) and two patients (7%) had persistent visible collateral venous circulations on the upper chest. There were no stent associated complications. All patients were followed clinically till death and the median follow-up period was 2.8 months (15-420 days). During follow-up three cases of stent thrombosis (one complete and two partial thrombosis) were observed.
Palliative care with stent implantation for superior vena cava syndrome is a minimal invasive and safe procedure with good clinical effect giving the patients a significant better quality of their residual life.
The aim of this study was to illuminate the development of standardisation of relatives' participation at the time of death in the Palliative Medical Unit and to explore if the implementation of standardisation brought palliative care more in line with its ideology.
A registration form was developed and utilized by the Palliative Medical Unit nurse in charge of the patient and family to register to what extent relatives participated at the time of death. The study consists of two data sets named evaluation 1 and 2. Evaluation 1 includes data collected during the period 01.11.1995-31.12.1999, representing 73% of all deaths (N = 244). Evaluation 2 includes data collected during the period 01.01.2003-31.12.2009, representing 71% of all deaths (N = 400). The data was analysed in SPSS, covering primarily the frequency of participation and correlation between evaluation 1 and evaluation 2.
Relatives are more often present at the moment of death, while nurses are less present at this moment. Additionally, Palliative Medical Unit nurses use more time to inform and discuss relatives' participation in pre and post-mortem care, as well as making agreements with relatives after death occurs.
Important premises for successful standardisation are fostering Palliative Medical Unit nurses' knowledge about various aspects of pre and post-mortem care through regular evaluation and an educational programme providing staff with necessary time, awareness and skills. In addition nurses also require sufficient amount of time in the clinic.
BACKGROUND: Loss of a child to malignancy is associated with long-term morbidity among surviving parents. This study aims to identify particular sources of stress among parents of children with severe malignancy. METHODS: We attempted to contact all parents in Sweden who lost a child to cancer between 1992 and 1997. Some 449 parents answered an anonymous questionnaire, including a question regarding whether they ever thought that death would be best for the child with severe malignancy. RESULTS: Mothers whose children were unable to communicate during their last week of life were more likely to think that death would be best for the child (relative risk (RR): 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.2-2.1). Fathers whose children faced six years or more with malignancy were more likely to think that death would be best for their child (RR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.3-3.5). CONCLUSIONS: The inability of the child with severe malignancy to communicate increases the likelihood of mothers thinking that death would be best for the child, while longer duration of the child's illness increases the occurrence of this thought among fathers.
To describe trends in the aggressiveness of end-of-life (EOL) cancer care in a universal health care system in Ontario, Canada, between 1993 and 2004, and to compare with findings reported in the United States.
A population-based, retrospective, cohort study that used administrative data linked to registry data. Aggressiveness of EOL care was defined as the occurrence of at least one of the following indicators: last dose of chemotherapy received within 14 days of death; more than one emergency department (ED) visit within 30 days of death; more than one hospitalization within 30 days of death; or at least one intensive care unit (ICU) admission within 30 days of death.
Among 227,161 patients, 22.4% experienced at least one incident of potentially aggressive EOL cancer care. Multivariable analyses showed that with each successive year, patients were significantly more likely to encounter some aggressive intervention (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.02). Multiple emergency department (ED) visits, ICU admissions, and chemotherapy use increased significantly over time, whereas multiple hospital admissions declined (P
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This study sought to examine the changes in ventricular function of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) between the first 2 stages of surgical palliation.
The mortality risk between first and second stages of surgical palliation in HLHS remains high. Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction predicts mortality. Postulated mechanisms include a maladaptive contraction pattern, myocardial ischemia, or contraction asynchrony. Speckle tracking imaging allows accurate measurement of myocardial deformation without geometric assumptions.
Prospective echocardiography pre-Norwood and pre-bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis (BCPA) examinations were performed in 20 HLHS patients, with comparisons made between stages. Measurements of ventricular function included: longitudinal/circumferential strain ratio, reflecting changes in contraction pattern; post-systolic strain index, a potential marker of myocardial ischemia; and mechanical dyssynchrony index. Relationships between echocardiographic variables and magnetic resonance imaging RV parameters before BCPA were examined.
Before BCPA, myocardial contractility estimated by isovolumic acceleration and strain rate was reduced, paralleled by an increased in post-systolic strain index (p