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ICU Study

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Aug 11th, 2016


Our population is aging and that means more and more critically ill patients in hospital intensive care units. But how best to care for these increasingly elderly and frail patients? A new study that involves the University of Calgary hopes to answer that very question.

A group of researchers has received 2 million dollars, 1.4 million  from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, for a four year study . One of the researchers involved, ICU physician and University of Calgary investigator Dr. Tom Stelfox, says the hope is to come to up with a strategy that will balance the wishes of patients and their family members with the advancing technologies available to care teams to treat and save the lives of these patients.

Dr. Stelfox says for example, picture the little old lady who’s frail and nearing the end of her life. Is it appropriate to use invasive and often uncomfortable procedures to prolong life and what will that quality of life look like? Every family and patient will likely have a different answer. Dr. Stelfox says it’s a fine balance.

But there’s a real lack of medical evidence in this area because previous research has only been done on younger patients in the ICU. This study wants to better understand the needs and wishes of older patients in the ICU. Researchers plan to talk to patients and their family members directly to get the information required to come up with a new strategy.

Dr. Stelfox says the goal is with a clear strategy there will be reduced costs to the medical system and better patient care for all of us.

For more information on this research visit this website. 


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