The last Few Days of Life
This chapter provides an overview of the care of the dying within the framework of the Liverpool Care of the Dying Pathway (LCP) and then looks specifically at the care of the patient who is dying of heart failure (HF). There are generally four phases of care identifiable within the dying trajectory: diagnosing dying; initial assessment and care; ongoing care; and care after death. These four phases are particularly discussed. This document replaces all other documentation for the multidisciplinary team, and becomes the focus for the patient's management. It has attached symptom control guidelines and associated information leaflets to support health-care professionals and relatives. The skills required to care for a patient dying from HF are similar to those required to care for a patient dying from cancer. Many centres using the LCP routinely use it unchanged for patients dying with HF. However, there are several specific issues in relation to HF that can make both recognition and management of the dying potentially difficult.
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