Symptom Control

Palliative care is derived from the term to “palliate”, that means to relieve. That is why palliative care is aimed to give relieve to the patient from symptoms and sufferings related to illness or treatment. And most importantly it makes patient feel as comfortable as possible during and after the treatment. This is required when it is unlikely that the disease can be cured or managed by treatment.

Palliative Care for Symptom ControlSymptoms that may be controlled by Palliative care include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety & agitation
  • Pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Oral problems
  • Bed sores
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Incontinence of stool & urine
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Hiccups etc.

Palliative Care for Symptom Control

Palliative care comprises of intensive and active care to relieve the physical as well as emotional symptoms of the patient. It holds the patient as a whole, and considers their physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs. Palliative care is not only for the patient, but is also considers the needs of the family and caregivers because they are the ones who are also under continuous stress related to patient illness and treatment.

Who provides palliative care for symptom control?

Generally, palliative care comprises of a team of members that coordinate to provide services that meet the needs of the child and family. The team includes:

  • Specialist doctors
  • Palliative care nurses
  • Psychologists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Massage therapists
  • Nutritionists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Social workers
  • Other therapists

Goals of Palliative Care for Symptom Control

  • Improve symptoms of illness and treatment
  • Make patient as comfortable as possible
  • Improve patient strength to carry on with daily life
  • Provide practical support in relation to physical and emotional symptoms of the patient
  • Facilitate effective communication between patient, family and physician

Advantages of Palliative Care for Symptom Control

  • Improves survival and quality of life of the patient
  • Provides ample information and support to the patient and to his family
  • Improves patient’s ability to tolerate medical treatments
  • Helps patient have more control over his care by improving his understanding of the choices for treatment
  • Helps patient’s family and caregivers