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Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328561


Background: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has presented major challenges to the health system. Despite high acute case numbers, non-Covid-19 patients still need to be cared for. Due to the severity of the disease and a possible stressful overall situation, palliative patients also require comprehensive care during pandemic times. In addition to specialised palliative care facilities, this also takes place in general patient care. In order to ensure this general palliative care also in pandemic times, the experience of the staff should be used. The aim of this paper is to examine challenges and possible solutions of inpatient general palliative care in relation to the care of seriously ill and dying patients and their relatives. Methods: Qualitative semi-structured focus groups were conducted online for the study. Participants were staff from intensive care or isolation wards or from units where vulnerable patients (e.g. with cognitive impairment) are cared for. The focus groups were recorded and subsequently transcribed. The data material was analysed with the content structuring content analysis according to Kuckartz. Results: Five focus groups with four to eight health care professionals with various backgrounds were conducted. Fifteen main categories with two to eight subcategories were identified. Based on frequency and the importance expressed by the focus groups, six categories were extracted as central aspects: visiting regulations, communication with relatives, hygiene measures, cooperation, determination of the patients will and the possibility to say farewell. Conclusion: The pandemic situation produced several challenges needing specific solutions in order to manage the care of seriously ill and dying patients. Especially visiting needs regulation to prevent social isolation and dying alone. Finding alternative communication ways as well as interprofessional and interdisciplinary cooperation is a precondition for individualised care of seriously ill and dying patients and their relatives. Measures preventing infections should be transparently communicated in hospitals.

Workplace Health Saf ; 69(12): 580-584, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571726


The COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for palliative care. Terminal patients cannot wear masks and may demonstrate unspecific symptoms reminiscent of those caused by COVID-19. This report is about a terminally ill patient with lung cancer who displayed fever, cough, and fatigue. During hospital admission screening, the patient tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. When admitting his wife to stay with him, she also had to test for SARS-CoV-2 and displayed a positive test result. Until the positive results were reported, six staff members were infected with SARS-CoV-2, even though they were routinely wearing respirators. This resulted in the palliative care unit having to be closed. Hospitals need strict and adequate testing and re-testing strategies even for intra-hospital transfers. Workers must strictly adhere to recommended respirator practices. Ventilation of patient rooms is essential due to the possible enrichment of particle aerosols containing viruses, as negative pressure rooms are not recommended in all countries.

COVID-19 , Lung Neoplasms , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Lung Neoplasms/complications , Male , Palliative Care , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Terminally Ill