Easing the Burden: The Need for More Palliative Care in Cardiology

The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association say that palliative care should be integrated into the care of all patients with advanced cardiovascular disease and stroke as a means to relieve symptoms, improve patients’ satisfaction with their care, reduce costs, and extend survival. Only 13 percent of palliative care patients however have had a cardiac diagnosis.

In response to this, Andrew E. Esch, MD, MBA— a palliative care specialist and medical education consultant to the Center to Advance Palliative Care—has penned an article spotlighting the need for both increased referrals to palliative care and more training for cardiovascular specialists in core palliative care skills.

The article, appearing this week in Cardiovascular Business, also points to the need for early palliative care and encourages cardiovascular specialists and palliative care specialists to collaborate to better support patients. “By increasing referrals to palliative care specialists as well as filling the gaps in most cardiologists’ (and indeed most clinicians’) core knowledge, communication skills and symptom management, palliative care can move from being an underused layer of support for cardiologists to an integral part of quality cardiology,” Says Dr. Esch. Click here to read the full story.

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