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  • Conservative_management_of_Covid_R2_NP

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 60, 1, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.03.030

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    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Conservative Management of COVID-19 Patients—Emergency Palliative Care in Action

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1
Volume60
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)e27-e30
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date8/04/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

CONTEXT: The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across the world. Many patients will not be suitable for mechanical ventilation owing to the underlying health conditions, and they will require a conservative approach including palliative care management for their important symptom burden.

OBJECTIVES: To develop a management plan for patients who are not suitable for mechanical ventilation that is tailored to the stage their COVID-19 disease.

METHODS: Patients were identified as being stable, unstable, or at the end of life using the early warning parameters for COVID-19. Furthermore, a COVID-19-specific assessment tool was developed locally, focusing on key symptoms observed in this population which assess dyspnoea, distress, and discomfort. This tool helped to guide the palliative care management as per patients' disease stage.

RESULTS: A management plan for all patients' (stable, unstable, end of life) was created and implemented in acute hospitals. Medication guidelines were based on the limitations in resources and availability of drugs. Staff members who were unfamiliar with palliative care required simple, clear instructions to follow including medications for key symptoms such as dyspnoea, distress, fever, and discomfort. Nursing interventions and family involvement were adapted as per patients' disease stage and infection control requirements.

CONCLUSION: Palliative care during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to adapt to an emergency style of palliative care as patients can deteriorate rapidly and require quick decisions and clear treatment plans. These need to be easily followed up by generalist staff members caring for these patients. Furthermore, palliative care should be at the forefront to help make the best decisions, give care to families, and offer spiritual support.

Bibliographic note

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 60, 1, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.03.030