Article Abstract

Intensive care unit strain should not rush physicians into making inappropriate decisions, but merely reduce the time to the right decisions being made

Authors: Jean-Pierre Quenot, Fiona Ecarnot, Nicolas Meunier-Beillard, Auguste Dargent, Audrey Large, Pascal Andreu, Jean-Philippe Rigaud


Deaths in the intensive care unit (ICU) are preceded in 53% to 90% of cases by a decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining therapies (1-3). The most common reasons justifying this decision include the patient’s age, previous autonomy, comorbidities, expected future quality of life, diagnosis at admission, non-response to maximal therapy and multi-organ failure (1,3,4).