Clinical Characteristics of Patients in the Persistent Vegetative State
Tresch, Donald D.
Sims, Farrol H.
Duthie, Edmund H.
Goldstein, Michael D.
Lane, Paul S.
Archives of Internal Medicine. 1991 May; 151(5): 930-932.
Little is known concerning the specific clinical characteristics of patients in persistent vegetative states (PVS). Fifty-one patients from four nursing homes, approximately 3% of the total patients, were identified as being in a PVS....Cerebrovascular accidents and dementia were the most common causes of the PVS...All 51 patients were fed via tube feeding and 35 patients had urinary catheters...All patients were receiving daily medications...Transfer of patients to an acute care hospital was not uncommon, with 31 patients (61%) requiring 63 acute care hospitalizations during their stay in the nursing home....Surprisingly, only 27 (53%) of 51 patients had a specific resuscitation status designation in the medical chart, and neither presence of a chart designation nor specific resuscitation order was related to the patient's age or the cause or duration of PVS....
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