Chapter 16

The Role of Palliative Care/ Hospice Medicine in Interventional Pulmonology

Muhammad Sajawal Ali and Lubna T. Sorathia

Abstract

Palliative care has been defined as “the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment.” The focus of palliative care/ hospice medicine according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is to prevent and relieve suffering by early identification, assessment, and treatment of pain and other debilitating symptoms. Unfortunately, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are among the leading causes of death in the United States. Therefore, pulmonologists are often called upon to participate in the care of terminally ill patients. By incorporating components of palliative care, pulmonologists can help relieve their suffering. When conservative therapies fail, interventional pulmonologists can palliate the symptoms associated with disorders such as malignant pleural effusion, airway obstruction and hemoptysis. Commonly offered interventions in this regard include, indwelling pleural catheters (IPC), pleurodesis, endobronchial laser, electrocautery, argon plasma coagulation (APC), endobronchial brachytherapy, rigid bronchoscopy and airway stenting.

Total Pages: 291-309 (19)

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