Withdrawal Of Existence Support For Distressing Brain Injuries Patients, Caution Is Required

A brand new analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) learned that dying after severe distressing brain injuries is related having a highly variable incidence of withdrawal of existence support in the finish of existence. The rates where existence support is withdrawn varies from hospital-to-hospital. The authors state that when deciding to withdraw support, attention can be used.

Distressing brain injuries may be the primary reason for dying and disability among patients under 45 years old. More often than not these patients aren’t able to make choices regarding health care, then when the choice arises to withdraw existence support, their doctors and family people result in the choice usually according to poor prognosis, physician experience, a person’s wishes and/or religious sights. Yet, insufficient tools exist to precisely predict disability and lengthy-term outcomes of these patients.

Dying rates after withdrawal of existence support in people who’d severe distressing brain injuries were examined with a multicenter group of Canadian detectives in six trauma centers in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. 720 patients older than 16 were examined, 77 who were male. The primary reason for injuries originated from automobile accidents (57%) ,falls (31%) and assault (8%).

The amount of deaths varied substantially. 32% (228) from the 720 patients died in hospital, although the dying rates varied across centers from 11% to 44%. 70% of deaths (varying from 64% to 76%) were associated with existence-support being withdrawn, with roughly 1 / 2 of these deaths occurring within 72 hours.

Dr. Alexis Turgeon, Laval College, Quebec, authored:


“We saw that most deaths after severe traumatic brain injury occurred after withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy and that the rate of withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy varied significantly across level-one trauma centers.

We also saw considerable variability in overall hospital mortality that persisted after risk adjustment. This raises the concern that differences in mortality between centers may be partly due to variation in physicians’ perceptions of long-term prognosis and physicians’ practice patterns for recommending withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy.

Until accurate diagnostic tools are available, careful attention must be used in both estimating prognoses for those with severe traumatic brain injury and in recommending the withdrawal of life-support.”


In an additional report, Drs.David Livingston and Anne Mosenthal, Department of Surgery, New Jersey Medical School write:

“Although we attribute the variability in withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy to differences in patient preferences, the article by Turgeon and colleagues adds to the growing body of literature that physician practice and the culture of medical centers may play an equally strong role.”


Differences in how physicians control prognostic uncertainty in severe traumatic brain injury and the way they communicate this uncertainty to families and patients is another reason for the large discrepancy in treatments between trauma centers, according to Dr. Livingston and Dr. Mosenthal.