Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study examines trends in withholding treatment for infants in neonatal intensive care units

Date:
July 4, 2011
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Withdrawal of life-sustaining support and withholding lifesaving measures (such as CPR) appear to be the primary modes of infant deaths in a neonatal intensive care unit, according to a new study.

Withdrawal of life-sustaining support and withholding lifesaving measures (such as CPR) appear to be the primary modes of infant deaths in a neonatal intensive care unit, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Currently, most childhood deaths in the United States occur during the neonatal period and most neonatal deaths follow a decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment," the authors write as background information in the article. Prior studies, conducted in the previous 30 years have shown that an increasing number of parents forgo life-sustaining treatment near the end of their child's life, and the number of children with do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders also increased.

Julie Weiner, D.O., of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and colleagues examined medical records of 414 infants who died between January 1999 and December 2008 at a regional referral neonatal intensive care unit to determine if trends towards decreasing use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the end-of-life for infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) had continued into present day.

Of the 414 infant deaths included in the study, 45 percent were due to major congenital anomalies (also known as birth defects; a physical anomaly that has cosmetic or functional significance), 17 percent of these infants were very preterm. Thirty-five percent of deaths were of very preterm births without congenital birth defects. During the ten-year follow-up period, 61.6 percent of infant deaths followed withdrawal of treatment, 20.8 percent followed withholding of treatment and 17.6 percent died despite attempted CPR.

The percentage of deaths that followed withholding of life-sustaining treatment also increased by an average of 1.03 deaths per year during the study's follow-up period. Most of this change was accounted for in very preterm infants (32 weeks or less gestation). For very preterm infants, deaths following withheld treatment increased by 0.7 per year, and during the study follow-up period, withholding of care significantly increased from less than 10 percent to more than 30 percent. Additionally, the use of CPR at death tended to decrease during the same time period.

"During the ten-year period, the primary mode of death in this regional referral neonatal intensive care unit was withdrawal of life-sustaining support," the authors conclude. "Significant increase in withholding of care suggests improved recognition of medical futility and desire to provide a peaceful death."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Julie Weiner; Jotishna Sharma; John Lantos; Howard Kilbride. How Infants Die in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Trends From 1999 Through 2008. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 2011; 165 (7): 630-634 DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.102

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Study examines trends in withholding treatment for infants in neonatal intensive care units." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110704174614.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2011, July 4). Study examines trends in withholding treatment for infants in neonatal intensive care units. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110704174614.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Study examines trends in withholding treatment for infants in neonatal intensive care units." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110704174614.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins