Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2021 May 27:10499091211018657. doi: 10.1177/10499091211018657. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Little is known about end-of-life care among Muslim patients, particularly during Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID) pandemic, which we report here.
METHODS: The clinical characteristics, end-of-life care and resuscitation status of Muslim patients who died in the ICU of our tertiary care hospital in year 2020 from COVID were compared to Non-COVID patients.
RESULTS: There were 32 patients in COVID and 64 in the Non-COVID group. A major proportion, mainly of Non-COVID patients, already had a hospice eligible terminal disease at baseline (p=.002). COVID patients were admitted to the ICU sooner after hospitalization (2.2 vs. 17 days), had prolonged duration of mechanical ventilation (18.5 vs. 6 days) and longer ICU stay (24 vs. 8 days) than non-COVID patients, respectively (p<.001). Almost all patients were "Full Code" initially. However, status was eventually changed to 'do-not-attempt resuscitation' (DNAR) in about 60% of the cohort. COVID patients were made DNAR late in their ICU stay, predominantly in the last 24 hours of life (p=.04). Until the very end, patients in both groups were on tube feeds, underwent blood draws and imaging, required high dose vasopressors, with few limitations or withdrawal of therapies. Family members were usually not present at bedside at time of death. There was minimal involvement of chaplain and palliative care services.
CONCLUSIONS: Muslim COVID-19 patients had prolonged mechanical ventilation and ICU stay and a delayed decision to DNAR status than non-COVID Muslim patients. Limitation or withdrawal of therapy occurred infrequently. The utilization of chaplain and palliative care service needs improvement.