Providing Palliative Care to Seriously Ill Patients With Nonhealing Wounds

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Patients may experience wounds at or near the end of life that are difficult to treat and may not be amenable to healing. In these cases, hospice and palliative care may be considered. Palliative care approaches include stabilization of existing wounds, prevention of new wounds, and symptom management with a focus on quality of life. Treatment goals for nonhealing wounds at the end of life include managing exudate, controlling odor, maximizing mobility and function, preventing infection, and controlling pain and other symptoms. Complementary components of palliative care are also instituted including communication and psychosocial support for patients and families.

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