The right time for palliative care in heart failure: a review of critical moments for palliative care intervention

Publication date: Available online 11 October 2019Source: Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition)Author(s): Samuel D. Slavin, Haider J. WarraichAbstractHeart failure (HF) is a progressive condition with high mortality and heavy symptom burden. Despite guideline recommendations, cardiologists refer to palliative care at rates much lower than other specialties and very late in the course of the disease, often in the final 3 days of life. One reason for delayed referral is that prognostication is challenging in patients with HF, making it unclear when and how the limited resources of specialist palliative care will be most beneficial. It might be more prudent to consider palliative care referrals at critical moments in the trajectory of patients with HF. These include: a) the development of poor prognostic signs in the outpatient setting; b) hospitalization or intensive care unit admission, and c) at the time of evaluation for certain procedures, such as left ventricular assist device placement and ablation for refractory ventricular arrhythmias, among others. In this review, we also summarize the results of clinical trials evaluating palliative interventions in these settings.ResumenLa insuficiencia cardiaca (IC) es una enfermedad con una alta mortalidad y progresivo deterioro funcional. A pesar de las recomendaciones, los cardiólogos derivan a los pacientes con IC hacia una intervención de cuidados paliativos de forma tardía y en po...
Source: Revista Espanola de Cardiologia - Category: Cardiology Source Type: research

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CONCLUSION: Palliative care in cardiology is uncommon and has often been too late because of its poor adaptability to advanced heart failure. It is, as consequence, necessary to identify the prognostic factors of these patients in order to propose a personalized care and to adjust the intensity of care ahead of the terminal evolution of heart failure. PMID: 25824965 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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