Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN


December 03, 2014

Case Presentation

Mrs P is an 80-year-old woman and a beloved spouse, mother, and grandmother. She had been healthy and active in her community. Ten days ago, she had a major stroke and fell down her apartment building stairwell as she was attempting to seek help. She sustained several traumatic injuries and was hospitalized in a neuro intensive care unit (ICU).

Despite all efforts in the neuro ICU, she has not improved. Today her family made the difficult decision to withdraw her life support. All family members were present, including her son who resides in Poland and who had not seen her in 8 years.

The palliative care team was involved and Mrs P's ventilator will be withdrawn today according to the ventilator-weaning protocol to ensure her comfort. The nursing staff is discussing the care they will provide before and after the ventilator withdrawal, and the palliative care nurse practitioner mentions to the ICU staff that the family may benefit from inclusion in the postmortem care.


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