Academic Article


  • The presence of cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators complicates making end-of-life (EOL) medical decisions. Palliative care/medicine consultation (PCMC) may benefit patients and primary providers, but data are lacking. We retrospectively reviewed 150 charts of patients who underwent device deactivation at our tertiary care center (between November 1, 2008, and September 1, 2012), assessing for PCMC and outcomes. Overall, 42% of patients received a PCMC, and 68% of those PCMCs specifically addressed device deactivation. Median survival following deactivation was 2 days, with 42% of deaths occurring within 1 day of deactivation. There was no difference in survival between the groups. The EOL care for patients with implanted cardiac devices is complex, but PCMC may assist with symptom management and clarification of goals of care for such patients.
  • Author List

  • Pasalic D; Gazelka HM; Topazian RJ; Buchhalter LC; Ottenberg AL; Webster TL; Swetz KM; Mueller PS
  • End Page

  • 971
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 10