Monday, November 23, 2015

Doctors are waiting too long to tell patients death is near

"It’s a surprisingly common theme in American emergency rooms. Family members arrive with patients who are verging on death but can’t articulate whether they want potentially life-saving medical procedures that might also carry the risk of debilitating consequences. They have never had the talk.Obermeyer, it turns out, is developing a novel approach so that patients — and their clinicians — avoid that kind of scenario. The idea is to help doctors know when patients have begun a decline toward death and should have a conversation about end-of-life choices — preferably before they reach the ER...Three years ago, Obermeyer received a National Institutes of Health grant designed to assist “exceptionally creative scientists who propose highly innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research.” He said his research has already yielded promising results, with published data coming soon. The next step is to establish a system to alert doctors that a patient’s condition might warrant an end-of-life conversation."

Doctors are waiting too long to tell patients death is near

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