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Advanced heart disease 

Advanced heart disease
Chapter:
Advanced heart disease
Author(s):

Steven Z. Pantilat

, Anthony E. Steimle

, and Patricia M. Davidson

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199656097.003.0153
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date: 07 May 2021

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the developed world and causes significant morbidity and repeated hospitalization. Optimal medical management and targeted use of devices can improve survival and quality of life for people with heart failure (HF). Despite optimal management of HF symptoms including breathlessness, pain, fatigue and oedema may persist and palliative care interventions may be needed. Palliative care specialists must be aware that referral to HF specialists may be necessary for patients with advanced HF. The risk of sudden death at every stage of HF means that palliative care treatments should be integrated into care for all patients. Palliative care should enhance communication among clinicians and with the patient and family, and should provide options for treatment of symptoms and deactivation of devices. Integrating palliative care alongside HF care can increase quality of life, decrease suffering and health-care costs, and improve quality of care.

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