Principles of Palliative Care on a COVID-19 Ward

In a patient with a diagnosis of COVID-19 who might not meet the criteria for escalating treatment, and the patient becomes sick enough that they might die, they should be offered palliative and end of life care. This will entail some honest conversations about goals of care, treatment escalation, reviewing advance care plans, ensuring a comfortable and dignified death and supporting families and loved ones. Check out the website talkcpr.wales for advice about having these difficult conversations.

All hospitals have access to specialist palliative care teams. These teams will be able to provide additional advice and guidance but it will not be possible for them to provide direct care to everybody who needs it, especially as the pandemic progresses.

Part of this care involves the relief of the common symptoms that may arise because of an infection with COVID-19, and the UK Association for Palliative Medicine (APM) have provided some strategies for managing breathlessness, agitation, and delirium in End-of-Life care in COVID-19 situations (attached below).

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