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The purpose of our systematic review was to determine whether the introduction of palliative care (PC) teams reduces length of stay and/or mortality for terminally ill patients (TIPs) in an intensive care unit (ICU).
We hoped to examine studies that compared TIPs in an ICU who received end-of-life care following implementation of a PC team (intervention group) to those who received care where PC teams had not yet been introduced (control group). We searched MEDLINE via PubMed, LILACS, Scopus, Embase, and Cochrane CENTRAL (search conducted in December of 2015) without language restrictions. Our outcome measures were length of stay in an ICU, presented as an average difference with a corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI95%), and mortality in the ICU, presented as a risk ratio with a corresponding CI95%. Two of our authors independently extracted all of the data.
Of the 399 publications identified, 27 were selected for full-text analysis and 19 were excluded, leaving 8 articles for inclusion, which involved a total of 7,846 patients. A metaanalysis of mortality in the ICU was conducted with four studies. Lower mortality was found in the intervention group: risk ratio = 0.78 (CI95% = 0.70–0.87), p < 0.00001, I2 = 18%. Length of stay in the ICU was presented as a mean and standard deviation in four studies, and the result was a reduction of ~2.5 days in the length of stay with application of the intervention: mean = –2.44 days (CI95% = –4.41 to –0.48), p = 0.01, I2 = 86%.
Significance of results:
Introduction of palliative care teams can reduce mortality rates in the ICU, and perhaps shorten length of stay in the ICU for terminally ill patients.
We present results from the analysis of spectra of the fast rotating active giant star FK Comae Berenices. The extended emission is interpreted as arising in giant active loops and prominences. The absorption is due to a shell of cold and dense gas (like solar filaments).
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