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Will Any Amount of Original Research Truly Improve End-of-Life Decision Making for Critically Ill Elderly Patients?

Purpose: To review the manuscript: “Outcomes of critically ill medical and surgical patients: A multicenter cohort study”, in order to evaluate its clinical utility for goals of care discussions prior to ICU admission.

Methods: A commentary by the author on the strengths, weaknesses and clinical applicability of this manuscript, as well as the body of literature that attempts to aid prognostication for critically ill elderly patients.

Conclusion: Clinicians who are regularly tasked with guiding substitute decision makers during end of life care discussions should incorporate their clinical opinion, patient’s previously expressed wishes and results from applicable clinical studies, into their recommendations.


Ian M Ball

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