Death Rounds: End-of-life discussions among medical residents in the intensive care unit

Catherine Lee Hough, Leonard D. Hudson, Antonio Salud, Timothy Lahey, J. Randall Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Purpose: We introduced "Death Rounds," a monthly discussion of the issues and emotions surrounding the care of dying patients, into the intensive care unit (ICU) rotations for medical house staff. We surveyed participating residents to evaluate their satisfaction with these discussions. Subjects and Methods: Death Rounds occurred at university-based teaching hospitals in Seattle, Washington and Salt Lake City, Utah, between October 2000 and March 2002. Residents who had attended Death Rounds were surveyed in April 2002. Results: A 10-item survey was distributed by e-mail to 116 residents in Utah and Washington. Of 116 residents, 97 (84%) responded to the survey; 50 of these 97 had attended at least one Death Rounds. Of these 50, the majority reported that Death Rounds were worthwhile (76%) and that sessions should be incorporated into all ICU rotations (76%). Conclusions: Death Rounds provide a unique opportunity for residents to discuss the issues raised in caring for dying patients. This conference can be easily incorporated into the ICU curriculum. Most residents who participated in the survey indicated that they valued Death Rounds and believed that it should be included in all ICU rotations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Care for dying patients
  • Death Rounds
  • Education
  • End-of-life discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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