PLoS One. 2016 Jun 22;11(6):e0157300. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157300. eCollection 2016.
AIM: The aim of this study was to assess how an admission to an acute palliative-supportive care unit (APSCU), may influence the therapeutic trajectory of advanced cancer patients. METHODS: A consecutive sample of advanced cancer patients admitted to APCU was assessed. The following parameters were collected: patients demographics, including age, gender, primary diagnosis, marital status, and educational level, performance status and reasons for and kind of admission, data about care-givers, recent anticancer treatments, being on/off treatment or uncertain, the previous care setting, who proposed the admission to APSCU. Physical and psychological symptoms were evaluated at admission and at time of discharge. The use of opioids was also recorded. Hospital staying was also recorded. At time of discharge the parameters were recorded and a follow-up was performed one month after discharge. RESULTS: 314 consecutive patients admitted to the APSCU were surveyed. Pain was the most frequent reason for admission. Changes of ESAS were highly significant, as well as the use of opioids and breakthrough pain medications (p <0.0005). A significant decrease of the number of "on therapy" patients was reported, and concomitantly a significant number of "off-therapy" patients increased. At one month follow-up, 38.9% patients were at home, 19.7% patients were receiving palliative home care, and 1.6% patients were in hospice. 68.5% of patients were still living. CONCLUSION: Data of this study suggest that the APSCU may have a relevant role for managing the therapeutic trajectory of advanced cancer patients, limiting the risk of futile and aggressive treatment while providing an appropriate care setting.
BACKGROUND: While anesthesiologist's involvement in palliative care has been widely researched, extensive data on palliative patients under anesthesiological care in the operating room is missing. This study was performed to assess the incidence, demographics, and outcome ofpalliative patients under anesthesiological care. CONCLUSIONS: Palliative patients are treated by anesthesiologists under varying circumstances. Anesthesiologists need to identify these patients and need to be aware of their characteristics to adequately attend to them during the periprocedural period.