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Revista Colombiana de Cardiología

Print version ISSN 0120-5633


GONZALEZ-ROBLEDO, Gina et al. Palliative care in heart failure. Rev. Colomb. Cardiol. [online]. 2017, vol.24, n.3, pp.286-296.  Epub May 04, 2017. ISSN 0120-5633.

Advanced heart failure is characterised by a clinically significant circulatory involvement that requires advances management options such as cardiac transplantation, continuous or intermittent inotropic infusions, ventricular assist devices or palliative therapy. Patients with advanced heart failure who are not candidate for a transplant or ventricular assist devices are terminal and belong to an heterogeneous group with a fluctuating clinical condition, with symptoms that impart their quality of life and eventually cause death. Palliative care is a part of the advanced therapy options whose main goal is to control symptoms in the patient with advanced disease, to plan care in the final stage of life and to allow for a dignified death. It is not a strategy limited to terminal patients. It is important to maintain assertive communication with the patient and their relatives, and to have the necessary tools to make and communicate decisions. This document presents in a concrete and practical manner the way of identifying and managing patients with terminal heart failure, with pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies to control the most common symptoms at this stage of the disease, as well as therelevant aspects on handling devices and concepts about care transition and palliative sedation.

Keywords : Heart failure; Palliative care; Quality of life; Device; Defibrillator; Pacemaker.

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