Magic Mouthwash–The Last Snake Oil

Mucositis is a frequent problem encountered by hospice and palliative care services. Its treatment remains a major focus of holistic and medical therapy. Mucositis is found among 40-50% of patients receiving standard chemotherapy or head / neck radiation. This percentage is nearly doubled for bone marrow transplant patients. It can occur as a direct consequence of the radiation or chemotherapy or indirectly from infections compounding immunosuppression. Once the offending agent is stopped mucosal integrity gradually returns. In the meantime the inflammatory pain reduces the patient’s quality of life while also decreasing their oral intake leading to dehydration and malnutrition. Magic mouthwash, known by many names and aliases, reduces the pain, the disability of mucositis.

Palliative Care Grand Rounds 2.9

Welcome to the monthly edition of Palliative Care Grand Rounds the monthly review of the best of hospice and palliative care content from blogs. We started in February of 2009 and are almost done with our second full year. To see previous editions of Palliative Care Grand Rounds go the http://palliativecaregr.blogspot.com/. This summer has been … Read morePalliative Care Grand Rounds 2.9

Heads up!! Calling all measure geeks!! Save the date: NQF call for measures planned for November 2010

The National Quality Forum (NQF) is planning to issue a call for measures relevant to hospice and palliative care some time late in 2010, probably November. This is a critical opportunity to advance quality measurement for our field.

Another indication that HPM is becoming more mainstream?

In the category of ‘what goes around comes around,’ a recent event reminded me of the ironies life can bring; but this is a cautionary tale for all. At this time last year, I was immersed in a trial. While there is a general impression that hospice and palliative medicine are relatively immune from issues of tort liability and malpractice, this is proving to be increasingly untrue. In some parts of the country, trial lawyers are exploring new theories of litigation with causes of action against hospice and palliative medicine providers, an untapped and fertile ground for potential malpractice awards. While this clearly isn’t “good news,” ironically it may be another milestone in HPM’s ongoing efforts to integrate into ‘mainstream medicine.’

Day Two of Intensive Review…

The second day was just as intense as the first- fabulous speakers and a review of important information. Here are some pearls from the second day of AAHPM board review course: Dyspnea: (Vincent Jay Vanston) -Total Dyspnea has 4 domains: Physical, Psychological, Interpersonal, Existential -Must address all domains to adequately control Dyspnea -When possible and … Read moreDay Two of Intensive Review…

NEJM Study Shows Palliative Care Extends Life

Most of you have already seen the study released yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine and I suspect that those of you who work in palliative medicine were not at all surprised by the results: patients who received palliative care along with standard oncology treatment for advanced lung cancer not only had a … Read moreNEJM Study Shows Palliative Care Extends Life

Intensive Review Course is Intense!

Day one was an excellent and fast paced day in the dungeon of the Hyatt in downtown Chicago. It appears the leaders at AAHPM have mastered Atul Gwande’s “Checklist Manifesto” as everything appeared smooth from the start. Over 680 participants and close to 300 on the waiting list; thirteen 30 minute sessions with two 30 … Read moreIntensive Review Course is Intense!

“Two Days in the Joint”: A Visit to the Joint Commission

…the “newer and friendlier” JC have some progressive, visionary work for the future of healthcare. It was two day conference and networking opportunity for seventy invited representatives from a diverse healthcare contingent representing a variety of organizations from the American Hospital Association, to the CDC to the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society, Inc. All a friendly lot and it was very nice to see the AAHPM represented.

Students Eager to Learn About HPM – Let’s Help Them?

AAHPM was one of 50 medical specialty organizations that exhibited at the recent American Medical Association Medical Specialty Showcase in Chicago. It was a great opportunity to talk about hospice and palliative medicine to the hundreds of medical students in attendance and also reassuring for us to see how many students were interested in the field and eager to learn how palliative doctors care for their patients.