After working in medical/surgical for 10 years, I transferred to an ICU last month. I'm worried about having to deal with terminal weaning. I can't bear the thought of a patient suffering. Is there a specific protocol that ensures a peaceful death?-G.F., MASS.
When families decide to withdraw life support, they're promised that their loved one won't suffer. Despite protocols designed to support that promise, sometimes it's not fulfilled. Unfortunately, I've witnessed some deaths like that.
Our facility has a policy for terminal weaning requiring that morphine and lorazepam (Ativan) be ordered and administered before the patient is extubated. Please do the same at your hospital.