Breathlessness in palliative care

In this episode, doctors Lisa and Sara talk to palliative care consultant, Lesley Henson and specialty doctor, Caitriona MacDermott, about breathlessness as a symptom in palliative patients.

They begin by discussing a fictional case and how to approach a patient with deteriorating breathlessness, before discussing a diagnosis of refractory breathlessness.

They also explore the importance of understanding the subjective nature of this experience, before moving on to non-pharmacological and pharmacological options to help manage this often distressing symptom. Finally they discuss managing anxiety around breathlessness and give advice on discussions around death and managing symptoms well. 

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