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Urgent Syndromes at the End of Life 

Urgent Syndromes at the End of Life
Chapter:
Urgent Syndromes at the End of Life
Author(s):

Barton T. Bobb

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190244286.003.0003
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date: 17 September 2019

Syndromes that will cause unnecessary suffering for the patient and family at the end of life include superior vena cava obstruction, pleural effusion, pericardial effusion, hemoptysis, spinal cord compression, and hypercalcemia. Palliative nursing care includes early recognition and management of symptoms, educating the patient and family about these symptoms and what to report, and providing reassurance that these symptoms, if they occur, will be controlled. Treatment advice and decisions are always couched within the framework of the following questions: Is the underlying cause reversible or not? What is the benefit-to-burden ratio of the treatment and how does that fit with the patient’s values and goals? What is the likely outcome if the syndrome is not treated? How will resultant symptoms be managed? Is palliative sedation available to a patient at end of life if desired? Will the site of care affect treatment decisions?

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