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New England Journal of Medicine Editorial Accompanies PARTNER Study Results Paper

Wed, 05/23/2018

Nurse-Led Communication in the Intensive Care Unit

An editorial about the merit of the ICU nurse-led communication program adds a strong human dimension to the results of the PARTNER study by Douglas White, MD, MAS. The study ran concurrently with the editorial by Daniela Lamas, MD, in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 23, 2018.

Lamas states that surrogate decision makers face well intentioned yet “often haphazard and unsupportive” communication by intensivists and ICU nursing staff. While in contrast, the critical care provided to the surrogate’s loved one happens within a framework of tested, verified and strictly adhered-to protocols. She adds that “White et al. now report results that cannot be interpreted as clinically directive but begin to offer us a way forward.”

The editorial concludes with Lamas recognizing: “As we increasingly look beyond mortality as the primary outcome that matters, seeking to maximize quality of life and minimize suffering, this work represents an “end of the beginning” by suggesting the next steps in moving closer to achieving these goals.”

Daniela Lamas, MD, specializes in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.