Palliative care and #ausvotes19

It’s election time again! Honestly, we have not had a new Prime Minister for ages in Australia. We sadly can’t have Jacinda Ardern, but there it is.
Dr Benjamin Thomas (@andiyarus)  has been tweeting up a storm putting pressure on the powers-that-be and the powers-that-wannabe in advocating for #palliativecare patients in the upcoming election. He visited the @Palliverse to answer a few questions for us. Continue reading

Survey – clinical trials in specialist palliative care

If you are a nurse, doctor or allied health professional in a specialist palliative care service please consider contributing to the survey below. It does not take long.

“Attitudes of Palliative Care Practitioners Towards Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trials

We would appreciate your participation in this survey as a health care professional who provides care to patients in palliative care settings.
Continue reading

Research nurse position

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Research Nurse 2019 Final

Advance care planning week 1-5 April

National Advance Care Planning Week encourages all Australians to speak up about their future healthcare preferences and make sure their voice is heard and respected, regardless of what the future brings.

“If you were really ill, and could not speak to the doctors about the health care you wanted and did not want,

WHO would speak for you?

and WHAT would they say?”

#acpweek19

How can people get involved?

– visit acpweek.org.au for more information and access the relevant forms in their state or territory.
-attend a National Advance Care Planning Week event
-request a free email starter pack

Palace of Care – In his arms

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Photo by Mayur Gala on Unsplash

It had been a great game of football, they had managed to successfully complete a number of moves that they had been practising for weeks. He was proud of the fact that the ball was always safe, in his arms.

The post-match party was a happy and raucous affair, a swirl of colours and noise, but everything seemed to stop, when she walked into the room.

Their eyes met across the crowded space, everyone else became invisible and they instantly fell in love. Soon she was, in his arms.

Fast-forward 23 years to an admission into our family room. Again a swirl of colours and noise as they settled into the room with their seven children, and their children’s children.

Early on in their relationship they had reflected on their own upbringing, having being raised by their grandparents, they made a pact that they would raise their own kids themselves.

And they did so over the next 22 years which were filled with joy.

She had become unwell over the past year, needing many trips to clinics and hospital for many treatments and even more disappointments. Always supported by their family  who stayed strong around them.

It had taken a lot of convincing to allow Hospice into their lives – he was scared of them – but the fears were soon allayed by the visiting staff.

Barely three weeks ago she had organised a family trip up North, just them and their four youngest children. “She knew that her time was short, and that was her preparing me.”

During the weekend, he had shared, “Thank you for providing this large room for us, it has allowed me to be the husband again, and the father to my kids, we can be ourselves again.”

There were many visitors over the weekend and into the new week.

On the very last night the couple were together, peacefully in bed, surrounded by the love from all their kids sleeping on the floor around them.

Coming back from the bathroom on the final morning, held up in his arms, “I think it’s my time to go.”

Gently back to bed, still in his arms.

Feeling safe, surrounded by the best things in the world, their kids and grand-kids.

She leaned back, in his arms, and then quietly left the room.

“She was looking after us all, right until the very end, giving us the strength to carry on walking tall.”

Hot topics – Melbourne 27th March

Keen to learn more? Here is the page you need

 

PaCCSC survey for health professionals on cancer cachexia anorexia syndrome

EXPERIENCES OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS DEALING WITH CANCER ANOREXIA CACHEXIA SYNDROME (CACS) (UTS HREC ETH18-2870)

As a health care professional seeing advanced cancer patients who have CACS in your daily practice, you are invited to take part in this online survey. The research will identify barriers, knowledge and management gaps in clinical practice. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and participation is voluntary and anonymous.
The project is supported by the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) located at the University of Technology Sydney. For more information, please feel free to contact Ms Linda Brown, National Manager, PaCCSC on PaCCSC@uts.edu.au.

Thank you for your time.

link: https://redcap.research.uts.edu.au/surveys/?s=Y984LHMD3Y

Please note: if you have previously completed the survey, please ignore the request.

Sertraline in symptomatic chronic breathlessness: a double blind, randomised trial

It’s a Thing, that we tend to publish and read studies that show that new medications or interventions improve things, rather than that a possible treatment or intervention does not help. But both are important, right? If a treatment that is being given to people is shown to not work, we need to know about that too.

The prolific team at PaCCCS including Professors Currow and Agar have published a trial of sertraline (an antidepressant) in breathlessness and found it did not improve breathlessness scores compared with those taking a placebo tablet. Quality of life improved slightly in those taking the sertraline, however. Overall, they felt that sertraline did not provide benefit.  Continue reading

Conversations with patients in palliative care by Dr Matthew Grant

Dr Matthew Grant, a palliative care specialist, has published this article in The Conversation describing normal conversations in the course of his daily work.

I love the way he sensitively maneuvers through difficult conversations, allowing the patient to control the content of prognostic information given.

   “Not everyone will feel comfortable talking about their future treatment plans like Keith. It’s important I allow Sharon to decide whether or not she wants to talk about a future where she dies, just as I shouldn’t necessarily dissuade Christos from smoking if it gives him pleasure.”

Continue reading

Kimika Lee wins leadership and innovation award

Kimberley Palliative Care Aboriginal Health Worker, Kimika Lee, has been recognised for her tireless work in the community by winning the Leadership and Innovation Award at the Western Australia Regional Achievement and Community Awards this month.

The local Yawuru Broome woman and mother of six said winning the award was a remarkable moment and one she never thought would happen.

See the article in Palliative Matters, thanks Palliative Care Australia