When Should A Heart Failure Patient Consider End-Of-Life Care, Such As Hospice?

Question: When should a heart failure patient consider end-of-life care, such as hospice?

Answer: When heart failure reaches its most advanced stage and a patient is dying from failure of the heart to be able to pump to the body, there are often many therapeutic options that remain. But many of these options are very aggressive and involve surgery, implantation of mechanical devices and other aggressive therapies.

When you the patient decide that you don't want to pursue aggressive therapy any longer and you want to focus on relief of symptoms and comfort, hospice may be an appropriate choice at that point. Hospice care is focused on relief of symptoms, comfort and living each day as comfortably as possible. Now, I would say that in a good heart failure management plan, that should be an emphasis everyday any way.

But when you want that to be your primary focus and you know that you're dying of heart failure, discussion of hospice is very appropriate. Unfortunately, physicians don't often bring up hospice as an option, and it's very appropriate for you as a patient when you feel that you no longer want to pursue aggressive therapy for your heart failure to initiate a discussion about the potential of hospice as a treatment option for you with your physician.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5228805. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5228805. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5228805. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 5228805.
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO:National Intelligence Director James Clapper
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo
PHOTO: Cartoons Come to Life
Baby Sister Baboons Play Peekaboo
ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images
PHOTO: Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images