July 22, 2015 – ICU at Home


Anchor lead:  Can even the sickest patients achieve a wish to die at home? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Most people want to die at home, multiple studies conclude, yet many do not, and for the sickest patients, those in the ICU, such a desire may seem impossible.  Not so, says Shawn Brast, a team educator on a critical care transport team at Johns Hopkins.  Brast and colleagues have an initiative underway to bring even the most fragile patients home.

Brast:  These are patients that are in the ICU, that having breathing tubes in place or that may be on complex ventilator settings or other complex therapies.  We know from the data that roughly 90% of patients would prefer to not be in the hospital for end of life.  That challenge for this population is how do you get them out of the ICU safely and get them home? And so this is something that we’ve been working on for some time now these transports were anywhere from local area to out of state to even international patients that we were able to facilitate getting back internationally.  :31

Brast says patients and families have applauded the effort, and staff involved are finding it very rewarding as well.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.