‘Seriously ill patients should be referred to palliative care’

  • | Thursday | 28th March, 2019

Coimbatore: In order to help seriously ill patients and their family members and to prevent suffering, it was vital that the patients were referred to palliative care team after the diagnosis of the illness, said Dr Ramachandran, a retired pediatrician from the Air Force. WHO had deemed palliative care as a speciality in 1986, he added.Ramachandran volunteered to be part of a workshop conducted by Dean Foundation for 40 to 50 staff members of the Mettupalayam Government Hospital on providing hospice and palliative care recently. The staff members were taught various complications that terminally-ill patients face and how they could be treated and kept comfortable till death.The training was to comply with National Quality Assurance Standards, which require hospital staff to be trained in hospice and palliative care. “Staff members were taught about requirement of palliative care for HIV patients, terminally-ill cancer patients, patients with severe organ failures and those with age-related complications among others,” said GH official Dr Jayaraman, adding, “They were informed about issues, including diabetes wounds, bed sores, skin rashes and more importantly severe pain, faced by these patients.”The aim of palliative care or ‘end of life care should be neither to lengthen the dying process nor to shorten the life of the patients, but help them die with dignity and minimum pain and suffering”, the health staff told.The foundation along with State Bank of India’s Anugraha Foundation had started providing palliative and “end of life care” for terminally-ill poor patients in and around Karamadai since 2017.

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