Show Summary Details
Page of

Palliative care in the emergency department 

Palliative care in the emergency department
Chapter:
Palliative care in the emergency department
Author(s):

Paul L. DeSandre

and Karen May

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199656097.003.0013
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 May 2021

The emergency department provides immediate access to medical care for patients and families in crisis. As the proportion of elderly in our populations increases, complications related to advanced illness will likely drive increasing numbers of patients with palliative care needs into emergency departments. In addition to immediately life-threatening situations, severe physical symptoms, psychological distress, social upheaval, or even an unrecognized spiritual crisis near death can overwhelm patients or their caregivers, who come to the emergency department hoping for relief from their suffering. Emergency clinicians must rapidly assess these complex needs while negotiating interventions with effective and efficient communications. This chapter addresses several of these essential clinician skills for effective primary palliative care in the emergency department. These include rapid assessment of patients with palliative care needs, titration of opioids for pain emergencies, efficiently establishing goals of care, skilful and empathic death disclosure, and a structured approach to involving family presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.