Palliative Care



Palliative care is an option given to the families of critically ill patients that allow them to take care of the patient at home. This allows them to spend time with the patient in his or her final moments. This paper will seek to answer the following question about palliative care.

  • How will you manage his comfort needs during the last days of his life?

I would man access his pain/anxiety level, then ask the MD for a drip or an IV push medication that would keep him comfortable. Routine comfort would be offered to Bill such as changing his sheets every day and straightening them such that they do not have wrinkles. I would also ensure that he is kept clean, inclusive of mouth care and that his environment is comfortable and relaxing. He would also be repositioned to the point that he cannot do it himself (Higginson & Costantini, 2002).

  • What does the evidence suggest to support a patient during extubation and vent withdrawal?

The evidence present shows that patients under palliative care are more comfortable and live out the rest of their lives in the comfort of his home. As a result of the questions that arise from the families of patients under palliative care, ethics committees have been formed to enforce an order was placed on how to offer palliative care.

Statistics have shown that most of the families that participate in palliative care have shown a level of satisfaction and consequently, a reduction in the time spent in the hospital and use of the intensive care unit’s resources with no chance of mortality (Higginson & Costantini, 2002).

The patient has transferred from the ICU after vent withdrawal.  The ICU staff approach you with concern that the palliative care team is just "euthanizing" the patient with the use of morphine for comfort?  How will you respond to this?

Palliative care has become a fundamental part of medicine and is not as aggressive as the care in the intensive care unit. Hence I would respond by educating them on the latest research on palliative care.  I would also state it was what the patient’s family requested. And I would also kindly remind them that they are no longer part of the care team and that the palliative care team specializes at end of life patient care (Higginson & Costantini, 2002).


Palliative care offers critically ill patients a chance to spend their final moments with their families and not in the confines of the hospital. It also offers them a chance to say goodbye to their families. Palliative care is beneficial to hospitals in that it saves on the usage of resources when there is no chance of surviving and creates space for new patients.

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