Media Watch

2019; Volume 20, No 3, March

Media Watch

An annotated list of recent articles about palliative care in the news media and the literature

Media Watch is intended as an advocacy, education, and research tool. The weekly report, published by Barry R. Ashpole, a Canadian communications consultant and educator, monitors the literature and the lay press on issues specific to the quality of end-of-life care. It is international in scope and distribution. Each month, this section of the IAHPC Newsletter publishes selected abstracts or summaries of articles or reports of special interest from recent issues of Media Watch.

Practical help


Procedural burden experienced by children with cancer during their terminal hospital admission

Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2019;54(1):133-139. Children with cancer, who die in major children’s hospitals, face a large procedural burden during their last days of life. This study highlights the magnitude and often short time from invasive procedures to the time of death experienced by children during their terminal hospital admission. It also brings attention to the invasiveness of high-intensity end-of-life care in pediatric-aged patients and the need for open, multidisciplinary discussions regarding the necessity of invasive procedures and for surgeon involvement in the complex end-of-life care decisions made for terminally ill children with cancer.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2018.10.007

Full text

Withholding or withdrawing invasive interventions may not accelerate time to death among dying ICU patients

Plos One | Online – 14 February 2019 – Despite the expectation that patients would die sooner if invasive interventions were withheld or discontinued, the authors of this study found no such association. Although it is likely some individuals died more quickly because endotracheal ventilation and/or vasopressors and inotropes were not administered, for other patients, such invasive interventions may hasten their deaths. Therefore, the assumption that invasive intervention is always life sustaining in this context may be incorrect. For clinicians carrying on end-of-life discussions with patients and families regarding using, withholding or discontinuing invasive therapies, this study should provide useful information in terms of the likely impact of such decisions on remaining survival durations.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0212439

Full text

Guidelines updated for pulmonary arterial hypertension in adults

Renal & Urology News| Online – 14 February 2019 – In the latest evidence-based guideline from the American College of Chest Physicians … updated recommendations are provided for the management of adults with pulmonary arterial hypertension.1 The authors developed two … ungraded consensus-based statements on palliative care (PC). The consensus-based statements suggest incorporating PC services for patient management...

The recommendations

  1. Therapy for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Adults 2018. Chest, published online 17 January 2019.

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