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End of life care in advanced heart failure 

End of life care in advanced heart failure
End of life care in advanced heart failure

Jessi Khangura

and Sarah J. Goodlin

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date: 12 July 2020

Palliative care aims to improve quality of life and support patients and their families in serious illness, often concurrently with treatment to maximize survival. Patients with advanced heart failure and their families typically have increased needs for symptom management, support, and planning as they approach the end of life. Many medical and device interventions in the care of advanced heart failure are palliative, in that they improve quality of life and reduce symptom severity, while also prolonging life. Other aspects of palliation, often provided by members of an interdisciplinary team, include psychological and social support, and counseling to cope with existential or spiritual distress. Optimizing end of life care involves ensuring medical care and psychosocial support for the patient and family, decreasing symptom burden, clarifying goals of care and planning care, and managing devices such as implantable cardioverter defibrillators and ventricular assist devices with a view toward decreasing morbidity.

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