Navigation Links
Beyond the terminal: Palliative care

Palliative care was once reserved for patients when all curative options had been exhausted and death was imminent, but now it is considered an integral part of the care that should be available to patients with serious respiratory disorders and critical illnesses.

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) has published an official clinical policy statement to serve as a guideline for clinicians and other healthcare professionals who provide such care in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine.

These guidelines represent an important milestone for pulmonary and critical care specialists and others whose patients suffer from serious respiratory diseases or critical illnesses. In the past 15 years, palliative care has emerged from near obscurity to become a board-certified medical specialty for physicians and a prominent part of contemporary healthcare for all providers and their patients.

"This is the first statement from the society on this topic. It's comprehensive and covers palliative care for children and adults, as well as for patients with pulmonary disorders or critical illnesses," said Paul N. Lanken, M.D., professor of medicine and medical ethics at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and co-chair of the ATS task force that wrote the statement. "It recognizes palliative care as an important part of what doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals should be doing."

The statement also puts forth a number of tenets designed to serve as long-standing guides and values to providing palliative care. "We tried to focus not on prescriptive details that can be quickly outdated, but rather on overarching principles that can be applied regardless of advances in medical technology," said Peter B. Terry, M.D., professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University and co-chair of the task force. "We augmented those principles by including citations to websites that we expect to be revised and updated much more quickly and frequently than can ATS statements."

Defining palliative care as an integral part of the treatment of seriously ill patients, the statement promotes:

  • Individualized care that is patient- and family-focused;
  • Integrated care that is offered when suffering begins, and should continue even after the patient's death with the psychological, spiritual and practical support of his or her bereaved caretakers;
  • Comprehensive symptom management to control shortness of breath, pain and other physical complications as well as the psychological challenges related to illness or dying; and
  • Professional competence and development of specific skills for healthcare providers who are involved in palliative care, especially the ability to communicate compassionately and effectively in order to help patients and/or family members make decisions about their care by determining treatment goals, developing appropriate strategies in line with those goals and preparing advance directives.

The statement also provides practical information for clinicians, such as when to consider referral to hospice care and how to withdraw mechanical ventilation.

Finally, the statement emphasizes the need for training, education and research. "We hope that the statement will spur more and better palliative care curricula in schools and hospitals to help develop or enhance those skills in interested physicians," says Dr. Terry.


Contact: Keely Savoie
American Thoracic Society

Related medicine news :

1. BioElectronics CEO Andrew Whelan: Positioning the Company for Growth During 2008 and Beyond
2. VisionFirst to Create Birminghams Next Reality Star with Beyond the Big E Contest
3. mtvU & The Jed Foundation Go Beyond March Madness, Spring Break & 5th Anniversary of Iraq War, Dedicating March Programming to College Students Mental Health
4. During National Nutrition Month and Beyond, Find the Facts on Nutrition by Focusing on the Science
5. Prime Your Immune System During the Peak of Cold Season and Beyond
6. Beyond Vanity: New Treatment Brings Relief to Women After Years of Silent Suffering
7. Moving beyond tamoxifen: Drug discovery and the future of selective hormone receptor modulators
8. Legislative and Regulatory Outlook - 2009 and Beyond for Pharma, Biotech Players
9. Michigan Kidney Patient Goes Above and Beyond to Help His Community - Awarded National DPC Hero Award
10. Fourth Annual James E. Marshall OCD Foundation Beyond Beauty Dinner to Honor E. Scott Beattie, Chairman and CEO, Elizabeth Arden, Inc. and Charles H. Townsend, President and CEO, Conde Nast Publications
11. Ashley Forms Partnership With Roger Burgess and ProCare Rx to Carry Gotham Banner into 2008 and Beyond
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (PRWEB) , ... ... ... University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy (SOP) alumni Hannah Randall, PharmD ‘17, and ... educated healthcare professionals on guideline updates for the primary prevention of cardiovascular ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton ... staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on ... Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting ... Day Market. Featuring a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the ... and quality-focused health and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids ... Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, ... run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a ... episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS ... in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/28/2017)... 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans Bioscience and Early ... of wearable and home sensors for real-time monitoring of ... Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on disruptive health solutions ... affordable analytical system to record and integrate behavioral, cognitive, ... ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... CAESAREA, Israel and NEW YORK , Sept. ... company with mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its ... today. Please check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz ... ... ninth season this month. ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... , Sept. 25, 2017  EpiVax, Inc., ... vaccine design, and immune-engineering today announced the launch ... the development of personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines. EpiVax ... provided exclusive access to enabling technologies to the ... MBA will lead EpiVax Oncology as Chief Executive ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: