Pain Management in Critically Ill End-of-life Patients

In a systematic review of clinical practice guidelines, consensus statements and benchmarks for quality, investigators sought to identify and integrate available recommendations on pain management at the end-of-life in the ICU.  They found general consensus of the following: use of a quantitative tool for pain assessment, administering opioids for pain relief and benzodiazepines for anxiety, against prescribing neuromuscular blockers during withdrawal of life support to assess pain, endorsing the use of high doses of opioids and sedatives for pain control, regardless of the risk that they will hasten death, and using quality indicators to improve pain management during end-of-life in the ICU.

Links: Crit Care Med (11/2019)(Available via Medscape – open access with site registration)