“Palliative Care Consultation and Effect on Length of Stay in a Tertiary-Level Neurological Intensive Care Unit”
Patients admitted to an acute care setting with a devastating brain injury are at high risk for morbidity and mortality. These patients and their families can benefit from the psychosocial and decision-making support of a palliative care consultation. In this publication, the team of researchers that includes Dr. Michael Pottash and Dr. Hunter Groninger investigated the characteristics and impact of palliative care consultation for patients in a neurological intensive care unit (ICU) at a large tertiary-care hospital. They found that, when compared with a late consultation, early palliative care consultation corresponded to shorter mean length of stay (LOS) without increasing mortality. One reason for this effect may be that palliative care can help to clarify and document goals of care earlier and more concretely.