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Palliative Care in the Home$
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Derek Doyle and David Jeffrey

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780192632272

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632272.001.0001

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Emergencies in palliative care

Emergencies in palliative care

Chapter:
(p.83) 6 Emergencies in palliative care
Source:
Palliative Care in the Home
Author(s):

Derek Doyle

David Jeffrey

Kenneth Calman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192632272.003.0006

Palliative care, in an ideal sense, should be proactive. It should be able to anticipate problems and take the necessary action to prevent them if possible. However, there are instances in palliative care when crises and genuine emergencies develop. Like any other medical emergency, failure to act instantly and appropriately can result to tragedy and disaster. It can also leave the relatives with sadder memories, often coloured with anger and surprise because of the sense and perception of negligence and inattention on the part of the physician. This chapter describes the most common emergencies encountered when providing palliative care at home. Such emergencies are spinal cord compression (SCC), superior vena caval obstrauction (SVCO), convulsions, haemorrhage, acute hypercalcaemia, acute urinary retention, pathological fractures, acute intestinal obstruction, and acute panic attacks.

Keywords:   emergencies, medical emergency, common emergencies, spinal cord, convulsions, haemorrhage, hypercalcaemia, urinary retention, fractures

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