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Patterns of mortality in patients with motor neurone disease

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Chaudri MB, Kinnear WJM, Jefferson D. Patterns of mortality in patients with motor neurone disease.

Acta Neurol Scand 2003: 107: 50–53. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2003.

Objective– Motor neurone disease (MND) is a rapidly fatal condition with survival of less than 4 years. Patients can deteriorate quickly in the preterminal stages resulting in inappropriate resuscitation or admission to intensive care units (ICU) or accident and emergency (A & E). Material and methods– We looked at patterns of mortality with emphasis on the place of death. A retrospective study was performed of all patients attending an MND clinic, who had died within a 10-year period. Results– Of 179 patients (63 female), 81 patients (45%) died at home, in a hospice or in a nursing home. Sixty-five patients (36%) died in hospital (11 in ICU or A & E). Nine of the latter were previously known to have MND and six admissions were probably avoidable. Most ward patients died of respiratory causes and were treated conservatively. Conclusion– The proportion of patients dying in A & E or ICU was small but could have been reduced further. A number of those who died on the wards could probably have been managed conservatively at home. Older patients and those with bulbar disease had a poorer prognosis.

Keywords: accident & emergency; intensive care unit; motor neurone disease; place of death

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: University Hospital, Nottingham, UK

Publication date: January 1, 2003


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