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The key role of palliative care in response to the COVID-19 tsunami of suffering

An article published in The Lancet highlights the key role of palliative care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-authors Lukas Radbruch, Felicia Marie Knaul, Liliana de Lima, Cornelis de Joncheere and Afsan Bhadelia worry that the COVID-19 pandemic may hit low-income and middle-income countries even harder, creating immense pressure on already weakened health-care systems. Access to essential palliative care at end-of-life may be limited and grieving may be complicated without the possibility to hold traditional rituals.

The authors also stress the importance of palliative care training:

Basic palliative care training to all medical and nursing students has been the recommendation of the palliative care community for many years, and had it been heeded, the health-care workforce would be more prepared for this pandemic. Online training is available to help prepare medical personnel to provide some palliative care at all levels of care. Now is the time to insist on rapid capacity-building for clinicians in symptom control and management of end-of-life conversations.

Strategies to extend palliative care during and after the COVID-19 pandemic are shared by the authors as well.

Read the full article from The Lancet The key role of palliative care in response to the COVID-19 tsunami of suffering

More information about the Australian COVID-19 Palliative Care Working Group and regular COVID-19 updates are available here.

 

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