Palliative care need in patients with advanced heart failure hospitalized in a tertiary hospital
Objective: To evaluate the need for palliative care in patients with advanced Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) hospitalized in a cardiology ward. Method: Application of the World Health Organization Palliative Needs tool (NECPAL) with the assistant physician, patient and/or caregiver for evaluation of indication of Palliative Care (PC). Results: 82 patients with a diagnosis of class III/IV Heart Failure or ejection fraction less than or equal to 40% in echocardiography of the last 12 months were included: Mean age 68 ± 20 years, 51 male patients and 31 female patients. Forty-three patients (52.4%) were married or in consensual union and ten (12%) lived alone. The death of 46 patients (56.1%) in the subsequent 12 months would not surprise their physician, and forty-five patients (55%) had palliative care indication according to the NECPAL. Conclusion: About half of patients hospitalized for class III/IV Heart Failure would have an indication of Palliative Care for the relief of suffering caused by the disease.
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