Palliative care is the approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems with life-threatening illness. Palliative care is the special medical care for people with serious illness. This mainly focuses on providing relief from stress of serious illness. The ultimate goal is to improve quality of life for both patient and family.
Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctor’s to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment. Patients are actually receive this care when they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness with six months or less to live if the disease follows it typical progress. Palliative care is not reserved for people in end of life care and can improve quality life. Medications used in palliative care are used differently from standard medications. The use of anticonvulsants to treat pain, antipsychotic medications to treat nausea and morphine to treat dyspnea. Routes of administration may differ because people care lose the ability swallow. A common route of administration is subcutaneous, as it is lea traumatic and less difficult to maintain than intravenous medications.
Palliative care to children and young people is an active approach to care, from the point of diagnosis, throughout the child’s life, death and beyond. It embraces physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and focuses on the enhancement of quality of life for the child or young person, and support for the whole family. It includes the management of distressing symptoms, provision of short breaks, end of life care and bereavement support. Palliative care can be introduced at any point throughout a child’s life; it is completely individual. Some children may require palliative care from birth, others only as their condition deteriorates. Families may also vary as to whether they wish to pursue treatments aimed to cure or significantly prolong life. In practice, palliative care should be offered from diagnosis of a life-limiting condition or recognition that curative treatment for a life-threatening condition is not an option; however, each situation is different and care should be tailored to the child.
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