Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

photo by David Mao itsdavo

This week’s reading list features stories from around the globe.

Telehealth helps to facilitate home-based palliative care in Taiwan, in one of a series of EAPC blogposts about palliative care in SE Asia (Cloud-based platform for palliative care at home)

Tailored care for older patients with cancer in Latin America: an imminent challenge (British Geriatrics Society blog)

“Although it is unrealistic to believe that someday every older adult with cancer will be treated by a geriatric oncologist, we should make every effort to offer geriatric training to all healthcare professionals and to create bridges between geriatrics and other medical specialties.”

Health advocate and heart attack survivor Carolyn Thomas on the physiological and emotional response to the fear of dying during a heart attack. She describes the “pure chaos” surrounding someone having an out-of-hospital heart attack. The same chaos is frequently observed in hospital wards and this article reminds me how important it is for us to be with the patient (and their family members), to provide some calm and reassurance, during such chaotic situations. (As if fear of dying weren’t bad enough…, Heart Sisters)

“Let’s hope that first responders and emergency medicine staff can remember that they’re not just treating a misbehaving organ, but a whole person – a person whose fear can and should be addressed as competently as that errant organ.”

In Melbourne, Local business leads the way in pain relief. (The Age)

Ranjana Srivastava observes that patients more often cry in response to frustration or gratitude, than bad news. (As a doctor, I often see my patients cry but it’s rarely in response to bad news, The Guardian)

“…I can’t help observing that good patient care often comes from sweating the small stuff. Like calling in a favour, relaying results on the Friday before a long weekend, pulling out an unnecessary catheter, sparing someone a midnight blood draw, and calling a distressed relative.”

Ellen Goodman, co-founder of US-based The Conversation Project, on How to Talk About Dying (New York Times)

What the Dying Want You to Know About Life (Huffington Post)

Thank you Oncology News Australia for this summary of the recent Cancer Nursing Society of Australia 18th Winter Congress, held in Perth! I followed this on Twitter (#CNSA2015) and there were some excellent insights. (Oncology News)

The US-based Institute for Health Improvement has a series of (short) videos about the benefits of palliative care for medically complex patients. (IHI YouTube channel)

Palliative medicine is still young compared to many medical specialities, meaning that many of its pioneers are still alive and practicing. I love hearing their stories of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. (At last year’s ANZSPM conference, celebrating 20 years of ANZSPM, we were lucky to hear from panel of past Presidents.) At the End of Life Studies blog, Derek Doyle shares some of the UK experience. (When palliative medicine became a specialty)

Here’s something fun to finish the weekend reads – writer Tom Standage talks about social media throughout (ancient) history.

2 thoughts on “Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

  1. Thanks so much Elissa for including my Heart Sisters post on the fear of dying during a heart attack in this impressive list. I can see that I have my weekend reading lined up for me here!


    • Your post really resonated with me after witnessing a rather chaotic situation last week, when a patient (from a culturally and linguistically diverse background) was having a life-prolonging treatment withdrawn – the family had been asked to leave the room because it was a messy (bloody), noisy process. Fortunately the palliative care nurse and I were there for hand-holding and reassurance during the procedure.

      Liked by 1 person

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