Hi, it’s Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com with another quick tip for families in intensive care.
So we’re often hearing families asking us, what’s the difference between hospice and palliative care when patients are in intensive care?
Now, as you may have heard me say before, especially if you are a regular viewer of my videos or my blog, that ICUs are very quick to want to withdraw life support, especially at the time of this recording with COVID-19 going rampant all across globally, really, and ICUs are full. ICUs are struggling for bed capacity. So we are certainly seeing that more and more ICUs are trying to push, especially COVID-19 patients, towards hospice fairly quickly.
Hospice basically is an area, hospital, and sometimes it can be home hospice as well, where patients approach their end-of-life and often, or most of the time life support, especially coming from ICU is completely withdrawn and patients are entering hospice to basically approach the end-of-life that can sometimes range from hours, days to weeks and sometimes even months, depending on the situation.
But for most ICU patients that are on life support and go to a hospice, as soon as life support is withdrawn, most of the time patients approach that end-of-life fairly quickly.
Palliative care on the other hand is more like symptom management when it comes to patients potentially entering end-of-life care. But just because they’re entering end-of-life care, you still have to make sure patients are not suffering and they’re comfortable. So palliative care is more symptom management. It’s also pain management. It’s anxiety management. It’s more like the practical side of things when it comes to pain management when it comes to end-of-life management.
Now, in either case, if you’re watching this, you are most likely having a loved one in intensive care and I can tell you that if the ICU team brings up hospice or palliative care, your alarm bells should be going off. Because as long as you have a loved one in intensive care, they should get treated to leave intensive care alive.
So my recommendation is definitely that, as soon as the ICU team starts talking about palliative care or hospice, you should be contacting us as quickly as possible so we can help you and guide you on how to deal with this what I refer to, once in a lifetime challenge, that you can’t really afford to get wrong because they are at the end of the day, life or death decisions that are made.
So that’s my quick tip for today. Like this video, comment down below what questions that you have and subscribe to my YouTube channel.
If you have any questions, send me an email to [email protected] or call us on one of the numbers on our website, intensivecarehotline.com or you find the numbers below this YouTube video as well.
This is Patrik Hutzel from intensivecarehotline.com and I’ll talk to you in a few days.