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Title: End-of-life care in the general wards of a singaporean hospital: An Asian perspective
Authors: Phua, J.
Kee, A.C.-L.
Tan, A.
Mukhopadhyay, A. 
See, K.C. 
Aung, N.W.
Seah, A.S.T. 
Lim, T.K. 
Issue Date: 1-Dec-2011
Citation: Phua, J., Kee, A.C.-L., Tan, A., Mukhopadhyay, A., See, K.C., Aung, N.W., Seah, A.S.T., Lim, T.K. (2011-12-01). End-of-life care in the general wards of a singaporean hospital: An Asian perspective. Journal of Palliative Medicine 14 (12) : 1296-1301. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Despite international differences in cultural perspectives on end-of-life issues, little is known of the care for the dying in the general wards of acute hospitals in Asia. Methods: We performed a retrospective medical chart review of all 683 adult patients who died without intensive care unit (ICU) admission in our Singaporean hospital in 2007. We first evaluated the prevalence of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and orders for or against life-sustaining therapies; second, if such orders were discussed with the patients and/or family members; and third, the actual treatments provided before death. Results: There were DNR orders for 66.2% of patients and neither commitment for DNR nor cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for 28.1%. Orders to limit life-sustaining therapies, including ICU admission, intubation, and vasopressors/inotropes were infrequent. Only 6.2% of the alert and conversant patients with DNR orders were involved in discussions on these orders. In contrast, such discussions with their family members occurred 82.9% of the time. Interventions in the last 24 hours of life included CPR (9.4%), intubation (6.4%), vasopressors/inotropes (14.8%), tube feeding (24.7%), and antibiotics (44.9%). Analgesia was provided in 29.1% of patients. Conclusions: There was a lack of commitment by doctors on orders for DNR/CPR and to limit life-sustaining therapies, infrequent discussions with patients on end-of-life decisions, and excessive burdensome interventions with inadequate palliative care for the dying. These findings may reflect certain Asian cultural biases. More work is required to improve our quality of end-of-life care. © 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Source Title: Journal of Palliative Medicine
ISSN: 10966218
DOI: 10.1089/jpm.2011.0215
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