Chapter

Symptom palliation

Derek Doyle, David Jeffrey and Kenneth Calman

in Palliative Care in the Home

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780192632272
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632272.003.0002
Symptom palliation

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Although a person receiving palliative care may have undergone all necessary diagnostics and all potentially curative treatment, it is does not mean that diagnostic suspicion should be ignored. In palliative care, a high level of diagnostic suspicion is a must. More importantly, identification of how the patient feels and their suffering is more crucial than any other palliative strategies. Symptoms provide windows to a patient's suffering and can lead to effective relief of the factors affecting their quality of life. This chapter focuses on symptom palliation. It discusses the most common symptoms found in diseases such as anorexia, anxiety, ascites, bladder problems, breathlessness, confusion, constipation, cough, depression, diarrhoea, dry mouth, faecal incontinence, halitosis, hiccup, hypercalcaemia, insomnia, intestinal obstruction, lymphangitis carcinomatosis, night sweats, oedema, pericardial effusion, pruritus, superior vena caval obstruction, and lethargy. The chapter also includes some of the therapeutic issues encountered when offering palliative care at home.

Keywords: diagnostics; diagnostic suspicion; symptoms; symptom palliation; effective relief; common symptoms

Chapter.  15228 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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