Ethics. Research. Community.

[What become the decisions of limitation of treatments after discharge from the paediatric intensive care unit?]

Archives de pédiatrie : organe officiel de la Sociéte française de pédiatrie. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
The fact that some children may survive despite a decision of limitation of treatments (DLT) is taken in Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is a recent data. Although the French-speaking Group of Paediatric Intensive and Emergency Care (GFRUP) has published guidelines for limitation of treatments in PICU, outcome of these surviving children has not yet been studied. PURPOSES: To evaluate transmission of data concerning DLT in PICU toward teams in charge of children after the PICU stay and to evaluate perennility of these decisions. METHOD: Cohort study in children for whom DLT was discussed and who were discharged from PICU between 2002 and 2006. The study included an analysis of the medical files and discussions with the physicians in charge of children at the time of the study, including their responses to standardised scenarios concerning the outcome of their patients. RESULTS: Among the 96 children for whom DLT was discussed in PICU, 37 were discharged toward another unit. Only 1 discharge letter mentioned the DLT. At the time of the study, the Pediatric Overall Performance Category (POPC) score had increased in 16 children and was stable in 12. All the 6 children with a worsening POPC score died, without PICU readmission. The physicians in charge of children after the PICU stay did not remember any DLT. For 18 children (including 8 with previous DLT) PICU readmission would be proposed in case of life-threatening event. Their median POPC score at the time of study was lower than that of other children (3 versus 4; p=0.001). CONCLUSION: This study shows a lack of DLT data transmission, which is in contradiction with the GFRUP's guidelines. Correction of this lack is essential to improve cooperation between units in charge of these children.
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