Palliative Care Articles

Jul 152015
 
Medicare will pay for death panels, I mean end-of-life counseling

Medicare announced last week it will finally pay doctors for their time spent talking to patients about their end-of-life preferences, among the most important medical decisions most people will make. The decision overcomes years of setbacks brought about by Sarah Palin’s politicizing of the Affordable Care Act’s provision for end-of-life counseling as endorsing “death panels” of [… read more]

Jul 012015
 
Families stall end of life talks, say doctors. True?

Doctors and nurses said patients and their families created the largest obstacles to end-of-life decision making in the ICU, in a large survey published in JAMA Internal Medicine. About 1,300 staff at 13 academic hospitals in Canada rated barriers to end-of-life goals of care on a 1-7 scale. Doctors and nurses considered the largest barriers [… read more]

Jan 292014
 
Choosing Wisely's five top "no-no's" in critical care

Choosing Wisely is an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) with the stated goal of “promoting conversations between physicians and patients by helping patients choose care that is supported by evidence, not duplicative, free from harm, and truly necessary.” Sounds good, huh? Politically, ABIM’s Choosing Wisely demonstrates to policymakers responsible self-governance by us [… read more]

Oct 242013
 
Dysphagia and swallowing disorders in the ICU (Review)

ICU-related Dysphagia and Swallowing Disorders More than 700,000 people develop respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation each year in the U.S. alone, and those that survive are at elevated risk for developing swallowing dysfunction. The aspiration syndromes that follow can be devastating, especially if not recognized and addressed early. Denver’s Madison Macht et al provide a clinical [… read more]

Aug 162013
 
Vasopressin, steroids, epinephrine cocktail improved cardiac arrest outcomes

Adding Vasopressin, Steroids to Epinephrine Improved Cardiac Arrest Outcomes Contrary to what watching TV or even reading the newspaper will lead one to believe, outcomes after in-hospital cardiac arrest are very poor. Only about 1 in 5 survive to leave the hospital after cardiac arrest, and most survivors suffer significant cognitive impairment; up to half suffer [… read more]

Jul 042013
 
Many people with metastatic lung cancer think radiation can cure

image: cancer.gov Patients With Metastatic Lung Cancer Often Believe Radiation Could Cure Among 384 patients with metastatic lung cancer who answered a survey, two in five expressed belief that radiation therapy was “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to cure them. Eighty percent thought radiation therapy would allow them to live longer, and only one-third admitted [… read more]

Mar 312013
 
What works to help people with pulmonary fibrosis feel better? (Review)

Interventions to Improve Symptoms, Quality of Life in Fibrotic ILD: Do They Work? by Brett Ley, MD Patients with fibrotic interstitial lung diseases (e.g. idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis) have a poor overall prognosis, and there are no therapies proven to halt disease progression or extend life. Further, many of these patients have debilitating symptoms, limited functional [… read more]

Feb 272013
 
Knowing When, When Knowing Is Impossible (Paul McLean)

Knowing When, When Knowing Is Impossible By Paul C. McLean The child was her first, and there were complications and aggressive therapies from the start and for months. She was unaware that the medical team was coming to believe the baby would not survive, that aggressive treatments no longer served a therapeutic purpose and were [… read more]