Introduction: The decision-making process underlying caregivers choice to continue feeding at the end of life is not well understood. Objectives: To provide a better understanding of the complex interplay of factors that influence the decision by caregivers to continue feeding. METHODS: Palliative care patients and their main caregiver recruited at National Cancer Centre Singapore between May and July 2011 were included. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered questionnaire. RESULTS: One hundred respondents were included. Three major prevailing themes were identified: filial piety, source of hope, and expression of affection. Nonparametric statistical testing showed that patients and caregivers shared similar views about feeding at the end of life. Discussion: The major themes identified above undergird the caregivers decision to continue feeding at the end of life.
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a leading cause of transfusion-associated mortality that can occur with any type of transfusion and is thought to be primarily due to donor antibodies activating pulmonary neutrophils in recipients. Recently, a large prospective case controlled clinical study of cardiac surgery patients demonstrated that despite implementation of male donors, a high incidence of TRALI still occurred and suggested a need for additional interventions in susceptible patient populations. To examine if intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) may be effective, a murine model of antibody-mediated acute lung injury that approximates human TRALI was examined. When BALB/c mice were injected with the anti-major histocompatibility complex class I antibody 34-1-2s, mild shock (reduced rectal temperature) and respiratory distress (dyspnea) were observed and pre-treatment of the mice with 2 g/kg IVIg completely prevented these symptoms. To determine IVIgs usefulness to affect severe lung damage, SCID mice, previously shown to be hypersensitive to 34-1-2s were used. SCID mice treated with 34-1-2s underwent severe shock, lung damage (increased wet/dry ratios) and 40% mortality within 2 hours. Treatment with 2 g/kg IVIg 18 hours before 34-1-2s administration completely protected the mice from all adverse events. Treatment with IVIg after symptoms began also reduced lung damage and mortality. While the prophylactic IVIg administration did not affect 34-1-2s-induced pulmonary neutrophil accumulation, bone marrow-derived neutrophils from the IVIg-treated mice displayed no spontaneous ROS production nor could they be stimulated in vitro with fMLP or 34-1-2s. These results suggest that IVIg prevents murine antibody-mediated acute lung injury at the level of neutrophil ROS production and thus, alleviating tissue damage.
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