Chapter

Emergencies in palliative care

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/9780192632272.003.0006
Emergencies in palliative care

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Palliative care, in an ideal sense, should be proactive. It should be able to anticipate problems and take the necessary action to prevent them if possible. However, there are instances in palliative care when crises and genuine emergencies develop. Like any other medical emergency, failure to act instantly and appropriately can result to tragedy and disaster. It can also leave the relatives with sadder memories, often coloured with anger and surprise because of the sense and perception of negligence and inattention on the part of the physician. This chapter describes the most common emergencies encountered when providing palliative care at home. Such emergencies are spinal cord compression (SCC), superior vena caval obstrauction (SVCO), convulsions, haemorrhage, acute hypercalcaemia, acute urinary retention, pathological fractures, acute intestinal obstruction, and acute panic attacks.

Keywords: emergencies; medical emergency; common emergencies; spinal cord; convulsions; haemorrhage; hypercalcaemia; urinary retention; fractures

Chapter.  4277 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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