Managing patients with COVID-19 rapidly deteriorating to end of life when oxygen therapy is their ceiling of care – ICST

Managing patients with COVID-19 rapidly deteriorating to end of life when oxygen therapy is their ceiling of care

Developed by a consortium of specialist palliative care physicians in Wales, this Palliative Care Guideline was created to support frontline teams, and follows three steps to determine the patients ceiling of treatment, and achieve sedation and alleviate symptoms in this distressing end of life context. This guidance is only intended for the specific situation of rapid deterioration over short time period (as short as 30-60 minutes) towards end of life and not for more gradual deterioration where a different approach to symptom control is required. Key recommendations:
  • Determine the patient’s ceiling of treatment and priorities of care
  • Administer medicines with the goal of care being to induce sedation and relieve agitation and distress over a short period of time (10-15 minutes)
  • Maintain sedation using repeated doses of medication

© Institute of Clinical Science and Technology (ICST) 2020

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