End-stage liver disease (ESLD), the final stage of chronic liver disease, is treated with liver transplant. Many patients have serious ESLD-related complications and are admitted to the intensive care unit for treatment. Such patients are temporarily unsuitable to undergo transplant surgery and are placed into a temporarily inactive category, "status 7," on the transplant waiting list. Status 7 patients account for about 15% of all patients on the list. To describe the experience of a status 7 patient on the liver transplant waiting list from the perspectives of family members, 38 hours of bedside observation of participants, 9 semistructured interviews with 6 family members, and 9 semistructured interviews with 8 health care professionals from nursing, medicine, and other health care disciplines were done. Data were analyzed via conventional content analysis. Family members' perspectives fit into 3 phases that correspond to the progression of the patient's clinical condition: dealing with crisis, confusion and frustration, and back on the road to transplant. All 3 phases related to 1 goal: getting the patient's status reactivated on the liver transplant waiting list. This case exposes the struggles that patients with ESLD and their families may go through during the status 7 period and could serve as a starting point for further examination of this period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care