Frequency of documentation of family communication in an Australian intensive care unit: a retrospective study

Riad L Silcock, Bala Venkatesh, Ranald L Pascoe and Dianne K Fisher
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2011.tb02969.x
Published online: 7 March 2011

To the Editor: While clinicians often communicate with patients and families, documentation of these conversations is inconsistent. Documentation is critical for continuity of patient care, medicolegal reasons and research,1 and is particularly important in the intensive care unit (ICU), where discussions regarding prognosis and withdrawal of care occur frequently. There are scant published data on documentation of conversations with patients in ICUs and their families.

  • Department of Intensive Care, Wesley Hospital, Brisbane, QLD.

  • 1. Curtis JR, White DB. Practical guidance for evidence-based ICU family conferences. Chest 2008; 134: 835-843.
  • 2. Cook D, Rocker G, Marshall J, et al. Withdrawal of mechanical ventilation in the intensive care unit. N Engl J Med 2003; 349: 1123-1132.
  • 3. Ratnapalan M, Cooper AB, Scales DC, Pinto R. Documentation of best interest by intensivists: a retrospective study in an Ontario critical care unit. BMC Med Ethics 2010; 11: 1-7.
  • 4. Bloomer MJ, Tiruvoipati R, Tsiripillis M, Botha JA. End of life management of adult patients in an Australian metropolitan intensive care unit: a retrospective observational study. Aust Crit Care 2010; 23: 13-19.
  • 5. Nelson JE, Walker AS, Luhrs CA, et al. Family meetings made simpler: a toolkit for the intensive care unit. J Crit Care 2009; 24: 626.e7-626.e14.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.