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Study Seeks to Optimize Comfort for Patients Removed from Ventilators at End of Life

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A paper recently published online in the journal Chest reports on a study of the palliative ventilator withdrawal (PVW) procedure performed in intensive care units (ICU) at end of life. The study's goal was to determine the level of distress patients experience and identify treatments that could bring relief. Findings show that up to one-third of PVW patients experience an episode of rapid breathing called tachypnea as a marker of distress, and administration of opiates before PVW could help with symptom control. Corey Fehnel, M.D., M.P.H., a palliative care researcher in the Hinda and ...