The goal of palliative care is to provide the alleviation or reduction of suffering and the support for the best possible quality of life for patients regardless of the stage of the disease. Palliative care can be provided in any patient care setting, including intensive care units. Death in intensive care units is a common occurrence, with literature suggesting that approximately 20% of deaths in the United States occur after a stay in the intensive care unit. Other studies suggest that approximately half of all chronically ill patients who die in a hospital receive care in the intensive care unit within 3 days of their deaths. Critical care nurses who work in neurological intensive care units are at the forefront of integrating palliative and critical care.

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