Preparation of families for withdrawal of life support should be part of appropriate and effective end-of-life care. However, current literature does not give adequate direction to caregivers for meeting families’ informational needs prior to withdrawal of life support from their loved one. The goal should be to facilitate bereavement for family members of ICU patients. Having a predetermined process also may help to alleviate stress for staff members.

  • Evaluate your staff’s understanding of symptoms and palliative management during withdrawal of life support.

  • Develop an interdisciplinary plan for patient management during withdrawal of life support. Include physicians, nurses, and respiratory care and other support services in developing the plan. Palliative care services for your facility also should be included.

  • Educate the interdisciplinary team members (preferably in a team training environment) on the plan, identifying roles and responsibilities of the care...

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