Outcomes of palliative care consultation in patients with ESRD who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Caroline M. Hsu, Haris Murad, Kathleen Neuendorf, Tianming Gao, Jesse D. Schold, Fahad Saeed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The majority of dialysis patients receive aggressive burdensome treatment near the end of life. Currently, we lack interventions to improve end-of-life care (EoLC) for these patients. We examined the association of palliative care consultation with improving EoLC for critically ill patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Materials and methods: In this retrospective study, we included patients with ESRD admitted to a large academic center who received CPR either prior to or during their hospital stay. Over 8 years, 17 out of 403 patients received palliative care consultation during their hospital stay; consultations were not standardized in their content. Main outcomes of interest to operationalize better EoLC were: (1) change in code status from full code to do not resuscitate (DNR) and (2) withdrawal from intensive care. Results: Of the patients studied, 60.5% were African-American and 43.2% were female. Demographic differences between those with palliative care consultation and those with usual care were not statistically significant. Palliative care consultation was associated with higher odds of change in code status to DNR (odds ratio 8.10, 95% confidence interval 2.19 - 29.94) and withdrawal from intensive care (odds ratio 8.82, 95% confidence interval 2.69 - 28.91) in patients with ESRD who had received CPR. Palliative care consultation was not associated with any change in in-hospital mortality. Conclusion: Palliative care consultation needs to be considered for hospitalized ESRD patients with limited expected prognoses as it may reduce aggressive and burdensome therapies at the end of life. Furthermore, primary palliative care skills such as communication and decision-making should be taught to nephrologists to improve EoLC for dialysis patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Cardiopulmonary arrest
  • Dialysis
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Palliative care


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