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Palliative Care in the Emergency Department 

Palliative Care in the Emergency Department
Chapter:
Palliative Care in the Emergency Department
Author(s):

Rebecca Wright

, and Benjamin Roberts

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190862374.003.0053
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date: 18 October 2019

The emergency department increasingly serves as a site of care for patients with palliative and end-of-life care needs. While improvements in healthcare treatments have enabled people to live longer with complex comorbidities, community-based care services are not always available, accessible, or equipped to manage growing demand from people experiencing illness deterioration and palliative emergencies or requiring hospice care. Despite significant advances in emergency department–based palliative care in recent years, numerous challenges remain for those working in or connected with the emergency department. In this chapter, the authors demonstrate the need for greater integration and training of palliative care in the emergency department. Barriers, facilitators, and new models of care are presented, supported by a three-part case study demonstrating how and when to integrate palliative care into the emergency department. The chapter concludes by considering the state of the science and next steps needed to improve the quality of emergency department-based palliative care.

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