Nov 5, 2020
The Emergency Department (ED) is a hard place to have serious illness discussions, whether it be goals of care or code status discussions, or whether or not to consider intubation for a seriously ill patient. Emergency physicians often don't have the time for in-depth discussions, nor have been trained on how to do so. There often is limited information about the patient, their functional status, or their prognosis. These are some of the most challenging and some of the most important conversations in medicine, as 75% of older adults visit the ED during the last 6 months of life (data thanks to this Alex Smith publication in Health Affairs!)
So how do we have these urgent conversations in a time of crisis to ensure that patients receive care that aligns with their goals? We have Naomi George, researcher and ED physician extraordinaire from the University of New Mexico, and Kai Romero from UCSF and Hospice by the Bay to help answer this question.
Naomi discuss her practical approach to crises communication that she published along with others (including previous GeriPal guest Kei Ouchi) in this Annals of Emergency Medicine publication titled "Managing Code Status Conversations for Seriously Ill Older Adults in Respiratory Failure." We also talk with Kai Romero about her Academic Life In Emergency Medicine blog post on "Work Grief: A Practical Primer for Emergency Medicine Providers".