In one of the first studies of its kind, researchers from UCLA and the RAND Corp. looked at the prevalence and the cost of critical care therapies provided in intensive care units that physicians perceive as being "futile."

Reporting in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers found that the majority of patients admitted to the ICU received appropriate care but that 11 percent of them received treatments during their ICU course that their physicians saw as futile. The study took place within the UCLA health system.  While previous studies of ICU physicians in the U.S., Canada and Europe have shown that such futile care occurs, the UCLA–RAND team wanted to better quantify the frequency and expense of physician-perceived futile treatment in adult critical care.

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