Palliative care is particular medical care that improves the quality of life for patients and their families by focusing on treatments that can relieve the pain, reduces stress, and other symptoms of treatment for a serious illness such as cancer. Palliative care is a fundamental component of cancer care. It is applicable at any age as well as at any stage and can be provided alongside the curative treatment. Some of the developing countries are still struggling with the initiation and execution of WHO pillars for establishing palliative care services. In some countries, palliative care is a low priority issue with much other competing health and developmental issues.
Palliative Care is delivered in a team-based approach by trained specialists who work closely with doctors and trained nurses that focuses on the patients’ needs, explains treatment options and gives patients and their families a voice in realizing their treatment goals. Palliative care treats the person, not just the disease.
In addition to improving quality of life and helping with symptoms, palliative care also helps the patients to understand their choices regarding their medical treatment. The organized services that are available through palliative care may be helpful to an older person having a lot of general discomforts and any disability he ever suffered in his life. Palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment and does not depend on prognosis.
A majority of doctors, approximately 96%, supports palliative care. Moreover, once learned about palliative care, 92% of consumers believe that these services should be available for seriously ill patients and their families. A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine states that palliative care consultation teams are connected with significant hospital savings. Another study published in Health Affairs validated that the palliative care teams create efficiencies that deliver significant cost savings. Palliative care also reduces long lengths of stay, high costs per day, and the often useless high usage of critical care units and other hospital resources.