Palliative care unlike popular belief is not the same as care of the terminally ill. It is a multidimensional therapy delivered for advanced stage of cancer which incorporates counseling, management of pain and other symptoms resulting from the cancer, psychological and spiritual support, to terminal care of the patients and that of the family. Under the guidance of Dr Beena Devi, this hospital has been able to integrate palliative care into the standard cancer management, a feat for which the department was awarded the accreditation by European Society of Medical Oncology. Our comprehensive palliative care program not only involves use of opioids in managing pain but also adjuvant treatments like physiotherapy, psycho-oncology counseling, holistic approach, stoma care, and procedures for therapeutic palliation.

Palliative care services are offered through out-patient and inpatient wards. The Palliative care ward sees more than 800 cases annually and has been designed to provide adequate privacy for patients and relatives of terminally ill patients. The ward nurses are well trained in assessing history and assessment and management of pain. Pain assessment is done through a validated questionnaire which was developed for the purpose of using it in our patients. The questionnaire has both a subjective and objective assessment of pain, and serial monitoring and recording of pain intensity with treatment. Our study on using Pain as the 5th Vital Sign was published in an International Journal (see under publications) and was presented at the Fourth Asia Pacific International Symposium on Pain Control, 2007.

 

Palliative Care Ward

 

Aromatherapy and massage services have been started since 2009 to complement pain management, relieve anxiety and depression, management of lymphedema in breast cancer.

 

 

Hospice Home Care is being offered to more than 200 patients annually. "Hospice" refers to a concept of humane and compassionate care for the terminally ill and is a medically directed, interdisciplinary team-managed programme of services that focuses on the patient and his or her family as the unit of care and the service responds to the unique needs of the terminally ill by providing physical and emotional care to dying persons and their families.

 

Hospice Home Care Program