Patients that are admitted to critical care for treatment are often seriously ill and may have other underlying health problems. Unfortunately, due to the nature of their illness or pre-existing medical conditions some patients will die during their hospital admission.

Throughout the critical care admission, updates and feedback around progress will be provided to the patient and/or family. The intensive care consultant and senior team will highlight any deterioration or concerns around the prognosis of the patient.  Due to the nature of critical illness there can, on occasion, be a sudden deterioration which was not predicted.

The critical care team are highly skilled in providing care in the event that ongoing therapy is felt to be futile or too burdensome for the patient.  End-of-life care places a focus on symptom management including pain relief, minimising distress and supporting patients and their loved ones through the dying process.  This includes meeting spiritual and religious needs and options will be discussed sensitively with the patient and family wherever possible.

Organ Donation 

In certain circumstances at the end-of-life, it may be possible for a patient to become an organ donor.  Relatives may find this comforting at a time of great grief and sadness and it may feel a positive outcome if that was what your relative wished for.