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Table 4 Frequency of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures delivered in the final three days of life in hospital and in hospice

From: A comparison of drugs and procedures of care in the Italian hospice and hospital settings: the final three days of life for cancer patients

  Hospital N = 144 Hospice N = 127 P-value
Procedures      
Diagnostic procedures*      
ECG 31 21.5 19 15.0 .209*
Arterial blood gases 24 16.7 1 0.8 <.001*
X-ray 20 13.9 - - .000
Ultrasound 9 6.3 1 0.8 .022*
CT scan 9 6.3 1 0.8 .022*
Biopsy 2 1.4 - - .500*
Number of diagnostic procedures 0 88 61.1 108 85.0  
  1-2 47 32.6 18 14.2  
  3-5 9 6.3 1 0.8  
  5+ - - -   .000
Therapeutic procedures**      
Oxygen 91 63.2 51 40.2 <.001*
1 *Vesical Catheterisation 79 54.9 76 59.8 .461*
Artificial Hydration (or CVC) 22 15.3 31 24.4 .066*
Bronchial Aspiration 17 11.8 23 18.1 .171*
Transfusion 16 11.1 0 0 <.001*
Enema 15 10.4 10 7.9 .532*
CPR 4 2.8 0 0 .125*
Chemotherapy 4 2.8 0 0 .150
Drainage 3 2.1 3 2.4 1*
Non-Invasive Ventilation 2 1.4 0 0 .500*
Radiotherapy 1 0.7 0 0 1*
Removal of faecal impaction - - 2 1.6 .219*
Intubation - - 1 0.8 .469*
Number of therapeutic procedures 0 22 15.3 19 15.0  
  1-2 84 58.3 82 64.6  
  3-5 37 25.7 25 19.7  
  5+ 1 0.7 1 0.8 .681
  1. *Use of MRI was also assessed, but no positive values were returned from either setting.
  2. **Dialysis, invasive ventilation, tracheotomy and peritoneal catheterisation were also assessed, but no positive values were returned from either setting.
  3. P values marked * are results of Fisher's Exact Test (2-sided).