Chronic Critical Illness

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 27/01/2014 10:36

Early in my intern year, I admitted an 80-year-old man with pneumonia to the intensive care unit (ICU). He had hypotension and was struggling to breathe, and my senior resident and I told his family that it was touch and go. Their response: Do everything. He had repaired cars for a living, and he was a tough guy, a fighter.

Lamas D. Chronic Critical Illness. N Engl J Med. 2014; 370:175-177. Available at:



Ten days later, his condition had stabilized, but he was delirious and unable to breathe on his own. We told his family that if we were to continue, he'd need a tracheotomy and feeding tube. They agreed without question. We had saved his life. A bed at a long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital opened up 3 weeks after he was admitted, and I rushed to get the last-minute transfer ready. I never saw him again.

Lamas D.

Norte América
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