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The Frequency and Cost of Treatment Perceived to Be Futile in Critical Care
After developing a definition of futile care, intensivists were surveyed in 5 ICUs for a period of 3 months, during which 1136 pts were treated. 19% of patients were perceived as receiving futile or probably futile care. Of those receiving what was perceived as futile care, the 6 month mortality rate was 85%, and the cost of treatment was $2.6 million.