Palliative care is specialized medical care that focuses on providing patients with pain relief and other symptoms of a severe illness. A multidisciplinary care team tries to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from severe or life-threatening diseases, regardless of the diagnosis or the stage of the disease.Palliative care takes into account the emotional, physical and spiritual needs and goals, as well as the needs of the family. It is offered along with the healing or other treatments you may receive.Common symptoms in terminally ill patientsWhen a situation of last days and agony is reached, the case must be explained well to the family, to resolve their doubts, to agree on the care that is going to be carried out, to suspend non-essential drugs and to treat the symptoms that cause suffering. In the final moments and to avoid unnecessary suffering neither to the patient nor to his surroundings, it is usual to proceed with a palliative sedation, which consists of the administration of drugs to reduce the consciousness as much as is necessary, to adequately placate one or more symptoms that cause a unnecessary suffering, such as suffocation, delirium, pain without relief or psychological distress. It should be emphasized that sedation is not disguised euthanasia since both the objective and the procedure and the indication are different.The goals of palliative care• Provide relief from pain and other symptoms• Affirm life and face death as a natural process, neither accelerate nor postpone death• Integrate the spiritual and psychological aspects of patient care• Help patients live as actively as possible until the end• Give tools to the family to adapt to illness and grief• Establish such treatment early, sometimes along with other therapies that can prolong lifeThe transition from curative to palliative care has to be gradual and must contemplate the individual needs of each patient. The palliative care teams are formed by different professionals: doctors, nurses, psychologists, nursing assistants, social workers, and sometimes physiotherapists or spiritual advisors.Palliative care should start by assessing a series of general care adapted to the situation and prognosis of each patient, measures that should include skin care (to avoid bedsores), mouth, feeding, hydration, urination, defecation, physical activity and sleep.Depending on your condition and the stage of the disease, it would not be necessary to treat all the symptoms that the patient presents since sometimes the treatment can be more annoying and cause more discomfort than the same sign.The mistake of believing that they are only needed in terminally ill patientsInitially, Palliative Care was designed to help patients with cancer. However, its use has spread to infinity of chronic and degenerative diseases, to the point that they already account for 80% of consultations. Palliative care is applicable early in the course of the disease and does not exclude other active treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the case of patients with advanced cancer. Therefore, it is wrong to think that Palliative Care is applied when there is “nothing to do” for the sick person. This does happen with palliative treatments, which begin after the treatment of the disease is stopped and when it is clear that the patient will not survive it.Alleviate suffering, a priority in Palliative CareThere are many and complex needs that must be met when we are faced with advanced disease: from the physical sphere of the sick person to the psychological, social and spiritual dimension of it and its relatives. However, current Medicine is focused on the attention of the physical sphere, that is, to cure it whenever and wherever possible; leaves the person suffering from this disease on the sidelines. There, the health teams that make up the Palliative Care services come into action.About us:Palliative care can relieve pain and symptoms, as well as provide support and coordinated and holistic medical care for people who have severe illnesses. Get more information about palliative care.