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Respiratory symptoms 

Respiratory symptoms
Chapter:
Respiratory symptoms
Author(s):

Max Watson

, Rachel Campbell

, Nandini Vallath

, Stephen Ward

, and Jo Wells

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198745655.003.0010
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date: 22 August 2019

This chapter covers the common causes and management options for patients experiencing breathlessness in the palliative context. The breathlessness support service—a multiprofessional integrated service that combines respiratory, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and palliative care assessment and management—has undergone a successful randomized control trial as early effective integrative service in the management of chronic breathlessness. It consisted of consultation to assess the patient in detail; a ‘breathlessness package’ including information, management, and pacing guidance; a hand-held fan or water spray; and a poem (a short mantra to help breathing and relaxation) as a crisis plan. Multidisciplinary team members made follow-up visits to assess need for additional home aids and adaptations, to reinforce self-management, and to provide confidence and further guidance on pacing and exercises. Review consultations were done at regular intervals to replan as required. The impact was significantly positive.

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