Heart failure and palliative care: Are we there yet?

Publisher:
Medicine Today
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Cardiology Today, 2015, 5 (1), pp. 13 - 16
Issue Date:
2015-03
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Integrating a palliative approach with active management can help identify and address the significant needs of patients with advanced heart failure. Key Points Introducing a palliative approach to care of patients with heart failure while still attempting to modify the disease course through treatment can improve patients’ quality of life. Patients who would benefit from a palliative approach can be better identified by tools that assess needs rather than prognosis. Optimal palliative care of patients with heart failure integrates ongoing active management with specific interventions to manage symptoms such as breathlessness and oedema. A plan for deactivation of implantable cardioverter defibrillators at the end of life should be devised and discussed with patients. Patients should be given the opportunity to reflect on and communicate their preferences for end-of-life care early in the disease process.
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