"Symptoms and Outcomes for Loved Ones in the ICU"
On behalf of faculty and staff here at Weill Cornell's Center for Research on End of Life Care, we would like to congratulate first year medical student Eliza Gentzler on her acceptance into the 2016 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program.
Since collaborating with the Center, preliminary results from a study of quality of life at the end of life in the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Eliza and others have found that dyspnea has a particularly high prevalence. Dyspnea is a subjective experience of suffocation that is distinct from physiological measures of respiratory failure which indicates particularly high severity. Results show that 59% of patients during their last week of life experienced dyspnea with a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) of 4 or more, indicating significant untreated patient distress.
The implications from this study are worrying and Eliza is interested in examining the reasons for this untreated distress as well as the beneficial and adverse effects of existing treatments.