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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Hepatology/GI

Advisor

Dr Tom Colletti

Abstract

ABSTRACT

This article aims to review the importance of palliative care medicine in patients undergoing liver transplant evaluation. Numerous studies illustrate that the early introduction of palliative care medicine to critically ill liver patients is essential in decreasing the number of days in the ICU, provide patient-focused care, decreased re-hospitalization, and improved communication. End-stage liver disease (ESLD), also known as chronic liver failure that can be subacute, and progress over months or years. The only curative treatment for ESLD is a liver transplant, a selective process available to a minority of patients. Most patients who don’t receive liver transplants or those who receive a transplant are at risk for postoperative complications and even death. Early introduction to palliative care medicine helps patients and their surrogate decision-makers navigate the process and create realistic expectations of the possible outcomes. Palliative care management and goals of care discussion early on as part of the liver transplant evaluation are vital in reducing the hospital days, creating patient and caregiver-focused care, reducing symptom burden, providing better perspectives on life-sustaining treatment, and overall reducing healthcare cost.

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