End-of-Life Care and Decisions About Life Sustaining Treatments

Older adults who are dying in the critical care setting need the same quality care as is given to any patient who is facing his or her final days in critical care. Where the care of older adults differs is often in decision making, the consequences of care decisions, and in modifications to symptom management to account for the physiologic changes seen with aging. Good end-of-life care in any setting requires effective communication with the patient and the family, facilitation of decision making, management of complications of the treatment and the disease, symptom control, psychosocial– spiritual care of the patient and the family, and holistic care at the time of death (Foley & Gelband, 2001).

Critical Nursing Care Plan For Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)

A cerebrovascular accident, or stroke, occurs when a sudden decrease in cerebral blood circulation as a result of thrombosis, embolus, or hemorrhage leads to hypoxia of brain tissues, causing swelling and death. When circulation is impaired or interrupted the small area of the brain becomes infarcted and this changes membrane permeability resulting in increased edema and intracranial pressure (ICP). The clinical symptoms may vary depending on the area and extent of the injury.

Disseminated intravascular coagulation

Disseminated intravascular coagulation, also known as consumptive coagulopathy, defibrinogenation syndrome, or DIC, is an acute disorder that accelerates the activation of the intrinsic and/or extrinsic cascade clotting mechanism and depletes both clotting factors and platelets. DIC is usually a complication of another disease process in which excessive thrombin is produced, converting fibrinogen to fibrin, and the fibrin creates damaging thrombi in the microcirculation. Fibrin blocks the capillary flow to the organs and results in ischemic tissue damage, and as the clotting factors, platelets, and fibrin split products (FSP) are consumed, hemorrhage and shock results. As the fibrin and FSP repolymerize, a secondary fibrin mesh forms in the microcirculation and when blood travels through this, the red blood cells become damaged and a hemolytic anemia can occur.


More »


More »


More »