End-of-life care for trauma patients is unique in that clinicians rarely have the advantage of knowing victims prior to the event. In this setting, the unfamiliarity with patients' wishes and values, the critical nature of the injury, the over-whelming feelings of guilt that families often experience, the suddenness and acuity of the crisis, and the need to make life-and-death decisions, can result in end-of-life care scenarios that are challenging to manage and often difficult to experience. This article describes a plan to develop, implement, and test a best practice model of end-of-life care for trauma victims and their families.
Lenworth M. Jacobs, MD, MPH, FACS is the Professor & Chairman, Department of Traumatology & Emergency Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine; Director, Trauma Program, Hartford Hospital; Barbara Bennett Jacobs, MPH, PhD, RN is an Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Connecticut; Affiliate Faculty, Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University, and Karyl J. Burns, PhD, RN is a Research Scientist, Department of Traumatology and Emergency Medicine, Hartford Hospital. Hartford, CT.
© 2005 Society of Trauma Nurses