The ICU long term Primary Care Team won The Nurses League award for "excellence in patient centred care" for 2013.
Following a lung transplant, the patient had a complex and prolonged stay in ICU of 78 days.
When the patient's condition deteriorated, and it became clear that survival was no longer possible, the patient and family expressed a wish to go home before palliation.
The primary nursing team and the ICU medical team collabratively liased with ambulance transport /primary care team and allied health to enable the patient to travel back home.
The patient was successfully transported home to rural Victoria for a couple of hours and spent the day with family & grandchildren.
The journey was uneventful, the patient returned to ICU late in the day and in the early hours of the morning, with all loved ones present, passed away.
Transporting a ventilated patient home from the hospital environment to grant a dying wish (as oppose to medical tests/treatments) is not commonly done.
The challenges of caring for an individual in a different environment with many unknown obstacles brings about both medical and logistical concerns.
It was an amazing effort on behalf of the ICU team. The Intensive care team collaborated to fulfill this patient's end of life wish and went to an extraordinary effort to deliver patient centered care.
It shows that traditions and boundaries can be extended and overcome to strive for patient satisfaction. This has now occurred a second time in ICU.
This further request was met with a postive attitude that did not require so many individual and organisational values/traditions to be questioned and barriers to be overcome.
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