The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care > Assuring Comfort > 5.1 Chapter Overview

Sick To Death book cover This extract from the online edition of The Common Sense Guide to Improving Palliative Care is used with permission.

Assuring Comfort: Chapter Overview

In This Chapter:

For patients, the experience of illness is often the long story of symptoms and associated suffering and fear. For clinicians, symptoms present diagnostic clues and therapeutic challenges. Controlling symptoms often defines good medical care, particularly for advanced and incurable illnesses, when the patient's priorities focus on comfort and quality of life. Although pain may be the most prominent symptom associated with advanced disease and the end of life, many other symptoms contribute to patient suffering, including dyspnea, fatigue, delirium, depression, anorexia, cachexia, hypoxia, nausea and vomiting, and constipation.

Good practice for symptom management is logical (even when our real-world approach is not).

Keep in mind the following key points for symptom management for end-of-life patients.

In this chapter:

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