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1.
Indian J Palliat Care ; 26(Suppl 1): S8-S16, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792231

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Palliative care has an important role to play in the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. It is integrated and is a key component in the governmental and community structures and services in Kerala, in India. Palliative care in the state has grown to be a viable model recognized in global palliative care and public health scene. The community network of palliative care, especially the volunteers linking with clinical teams, is a strong force for advocacy, relief support including provision of emergency medications, and clinical care. OBJECTIVE: To develop a palliative care resource tool kit for holistic care of patients affected with COVID-19 and to support the health-care workers looking after them to enable palliative care integration with COVID-I9 management. METHODS: The Kerala State government included senior palliative care advisors in the COVID-19 task force and 22 palliative care professionals formed a virtual task force named Palli COVID Kerala as an immediate response to develop recommendations. Results: Developed a palliative care in COVID-19 resource toolkit which includes an e-book with palliative care recommendations, online training opportunities, short webinars and voice over power point presentations. CONCLUSION: Integrated Palliative care should be an essential part of any response to a humanitarian crisis. The e resource tool kit can be adapted for use in other low- and middle-income countries.

2.
Aust Health Rev ; 45(6): 667-674, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376233

ABSTRACT

Objective Palliative care has played a key role in the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in Australia. This review of consecutive patients with COVID-19 referred to the palliative care consultancy service of a tertiary health service in Melbourne describes the palliative care experience with COVID-19 in Australia. Methods The experiences of 55 patients (median age 86 years; interquartile range (IQR) 81-90 years; 55% male; median Charlson comorbidity score 6 (IQR 5-8); 85% with Australia-modified Karnofsky Performance Status ≤50; 67% from residential aged care facilities) were reviewed to collect relevant data points. Results Most patients were referred for end-of-life care with symptoms including dyspnoea (80%) and agitation/delirium (60%). Continuous subcutaneous infusions were commenced in 71% of patients, with the most frequent medications being opioids and benzodiazepines in relatively small doses; 81% required ≤20 mg subcutaneous morphine equivalent and 64% required ≤10 mg subcutaneous midazolam over 24 h. Fifty patients (91%) died in hospital and the median time from palliative care referral to death was 3 days (IQR 1-5 days). Five patients were discharged back to residential aged care facilities. Overall, 80% of referrals were from the aged care team. Conclusion Our patients had similar demographics, symptoms, medication needs and outcomes to patients in similar settings overseas. We found the symptom management of patients with COVID-19 to be generally straightforward. However, the psychosocial needs of patients were predominant and contributed to complexity. This study highlights the need for well-integrated relationships between the palliative care consultancy service and the diverse range of key treating teams involved in the delivery of pandemic health care. What is known about the topic? Palliative care has played a key role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. There is limited research describing the Australian palliative care experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. What does this paper add? Patients with COVID-19 referred to a hospital-based palliative care consultancy service in Australia had similar demographic characteristics, symptoms, medication needs and outcomes to patients with COVID-19 referred to other palliative care services in the UK and the US. There were significant psychosocial issues affecting patients, families and staff in the context of the pandemic. What are the implications for practitioners? This study highlights the need for well-functioning working relationships between the palliative care consultancy service and other hospital teams that can be leveraged at a time of crisis, such as a pandemic, to provide optimal palliative care to patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Australia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Palliative Care , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Clin Dermatol ; 39(3): 510-516, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947166

ABSTRACT

We investigatd the influence of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) status on mortality of hospital inpatients who died of COVID-19. This is a retrospective, observational cohort study of all patients admitted to two New Jersey hospitals between March 15 and May 15, 2020, who had, or developed, COVID-19 (1270 patients). Of these, 640 patients died (570 [89.1%] with and 70 [10.9%] without a DNR order at the time of admission) and 630 survived (180 [28.6%] with and 450 [71.4%] without a DNR order when admitted). Among the 120 patients without COVID-19 who died during this interval, 110 (91.7%) had a DNR order when admitted. Deceased positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients were significantly more likely to have a DNR order on admission compared with recovered positive SARS-CoV-2 patients (P < 0.05), similar to those who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 DNR patients had a higher mortality compared with COVID-19 non-DNR patients (log rank P < 0.001). DNR patients had a significantly increased hazard ratio of dying (HR 2.2 [1.5-3.2], P < 0.001) compared with non-DNR patients, a finding that remained significant in the multivariate model. The risk of death from COVID-19 was significantly influenced by the patients' DNR status.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Resuscitation Orders , Cohort Studies , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Indian J Palliat Care ; 26(Suppl 1): S116-S120, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-706803

ABSTRACT

In a resource-poor country like India, where the health-care systems are difficult to access, overburdened, and unaffordable to many, the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic can be devastating. The increased burden of serious health-related suffering can impact the well-being of health-care workers, patients, and their families alike. The elderly, the frail, the vulnerable, and those with multiple comorbidities are disproportionately affected. Palliative care, with its comprehensive and inclusive approach, has much to offer in terms of alleviating the suffering, particularly those caused by the distressing physical and psycho-socio-spiritual symptoms, the complex medical decision-making, end-of-life care issues, and grief and bereavement, and needs to be integrated into the pathway of care provision in COVID-19. Psychosocial issues contribute to and amplify suffering and are often underestimated and undertreated and not accessible to many. Empowering frontline professionals in the core concepts of psychosocial support and palliative care thus becomes an absolute necessity. This quick review was done by a group of palliative care physicians and mental health experts from India to develop recommendations for physical and psychosocial care in the context of COVID-19. This review was done as part of that process and highlights the role and challenges of the psychosocial domain of palliative care in the context of COVID-19 situation in India.

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