HEART FAILURE AND PALLIATIVE CARE (SUPPORT THERAPY)
The title is striking and a little disturbing. Do not get me wrong. A non-cancerous chronic disease such as heart failure has two treatment phases. The first is well known. It is the standard or “active” care. The second, palliative care, focuses on patient comfort.
These two phases of care do not follow each other. They are rather done simultaneously.
The term "palliative care" can generate a sense of anxiety and have a rather negative connotation for the patient and those around him.
Our understanding of palliative care is one of imminent end of life, when, in fact, it is not. It is more of a "supportive therapy" and the term "palliative care" seems more appropriate.
The palliative or supportive phase will become increasingly important in case a terminal heart failure develops. The prognosis of longevity, though dark at this stage, cannot be quantified in terms of time, as many patients would like to know.
Early palliative care has demonstrated that quality of life is improved as there are possible reductions in the number of hospitalizations and even an increase in average survival.
5 important components are treated:
- A recall on heart failure and so-called active treatment;
- An individualized action plan;
- Supportive care and accompaniment, in addition to so-called active therapy;
- imminent end of life;
- end-of-life care.