Elsewhere in the Palliverse – weekend reads

Gratuitous holiday snap unrelated to post

Gratuitous holiday snap unrelated to post

I’ll be spending the weekend enjoying the sunshine reminiscing over holiday snaps catching up with tweets from #CancerCongress, #PPCConference, #COSA2014 working on an ethics proposal. If you’re looking for something to do, try this reading list.

Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead – from @ConversationEDU

This is another article from the Death and Dying series on the fantastic website The Conversation. We’ve shared a couple of these articles before and I would recommend reading the rest over at The Conversation.

Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead

By Bjorn Nansen, University of Melbourne; James Meese, University of Melbourne; Martin Gibbs, University of Melbourne; Michael Arnold, University of Melbourne, and Tamara Kohn, University of Melbourne

Media technologies have operated as both a means of communicating news of a death and memorialising the deceased for a significant period of time, moving from traditional epitaphs, eulogies, wakes and inscription in stone to centuries-old obituaries printed and circulated in newspapers. So where are we now? Continue reading

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads (featuring zombies)

Here’s some palliative care and research related links to peruse in the week ahead (most found via Twitter):

ABC News interviews Atul Gawande about “modern medicine’s treatment of dying patients.” Dr Gawande is all over social media and the news, even in Australia (and in Legoland)!

Current and former Chairs of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Mortality Sub-Committee write in The Age about the challenges that not for resuscitation orders can pose for anaesthetists.

The ASCO Post reviews a review article from JAMA Internal Medicine, about end-of-life discussions and advanced care planning. In summary, it’s all good.

In Canada’s Globe & Mail, “End-of-life patients aren’t being heard“.

Geriatrician Louise Aronson writes in The Lancet about ageism in medicine, and ageing as “the human life-cycle’s neglected step-child.”

Presenting at a conference? Improve your presentation with zombie apocalypse principles.

Meanwhile, on October 31st, GeriPal explored the unmet palliative care needs of zombies. And check out the zombie pain scale!

Finally, join the weekly (zombie-free) #hpmglobal tweetchat on Monday (17/11/14 at 11pm AEDT) to discuss an article from BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care about support networks of end-of-life carers. #hpmglobal chat is hosted by Aussie ex-pat Dr Jim Cleary (@jfclearywisc), with participants from several continents. For instruction in how to participate in a tweetchat, see Sonia’s post Twitter 102.

I hope you enjoy these and stay safe from zombies!

 

Elissa

 

Elsewhere in the Palliverse…weekend reads

Reads for your weekend from across the Palliverse…

How to determine the order of authorship in an academic paper (@paulisci)

Presenting your research findings at a meeting? Here are some useful tips to improve your delivery (Lifehacker)

As I walk through hospital corridors, I’m always grateful for the beautiful artworks displayed. However, I don’t often stop to consider the themes portrayed. Art columnist Jonathon Jones asks, Should hospital art be jolly – or should it portray the truth about pain? (The Guardian). Meanwhile, More hospitals use the healing power of art (Wall Street Journal). What are your thoughts? Continue reading

Weekend reads

A round-up from elsewhere on the web, which may appeal to the Palliverse community. Topics will include palliative care, healthcare and social media and academic research. (Is this something you’d like to see regularly? If so, please comment or do our quick survey.)

legoacademics140809Those with an interest in research will enjoy the new @Lego_Academics twitter account. (Hint: you don’t need your own twitter account to view it.) It features the first Lego female scientists. The account has >2500 followers and has only been tweeting for 12 hours!

The Guardian reports that a French hospital is opening a wine bar in its palliative care centre, with the aim of “re-humanising” patients. I’ve heard of a palliative care unit with a drinks trolley – does your service have one? Continue reading

Diabetes management at the end of life

Diabetes management in palliative care is often tricky. Trying to optimise quality of life, and finding a balance between the burden of diabetes treatment (such as checking blood sugars, diabetic diet and medication side effects) and the sequelae of uncontrolled blood sugars (like unpleasant symptoms and infections) is difficult. As a patient’s weight, diet, metabolism and organ function change, the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) increases. Adding further difficulty is that patients with chronic diabetes have often spent years being told that they need to keep strict control of their blood sugars, in order to avoid the awful long-term consequences of poorly-controlled diabetes. It can be difficult to convince patients, their families and carers blood sugar control can be relaxed in the palliative care setting. Continue reading

“Sonia’s sign” – conjunctivitis as a novel indicator of the terminal phase?

Generations of junior medical staff had internally rolled their eyes when I voiced my theory about conjunctivitis meaning that the patient would die soon, then been astounded by my prognostic skills when the patient deteriorated into the terminal phase. It was time to put my reputation where my mouth was and do a prospective audit. Did diagnosis and treatment of conjunctivitis in the inpatient palliative care setting mean that the patient had a very poor prognosis? Continue reading