European Journal of Palliative Care - 1997

The role of anticonvulsants in palliative care
Maeve O’Reilly
pp 7-11
Since Hauptmann’s discovery in 1912 of phenobarbitone – the first synthetic organic agent with antiseizure activity – many new agents with similar anticonvulsant properties have been developed. Over the past 20 years our understanding of the pathophysiology of epilepsy has increased, leading to new approaches to drug therapy. The agents have a wide range of uses in a palliative care setting, not just as anticonvulsants, but also in the treatment of other problems – such as neuropathic pain and terminal agitation.
Antibiotic choices in palliative care
Daniele Scevola, Angela Faga and Natalia Dmitrieva
pp 12-18
Of the 50 million deaths reported every year in the world, 35.8% are caused by infectious diseases. Infections are a primary cause of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing palliative care, although they can be controlled by hygienic practices, antisepsis, vaccinations and antibiotics. The latter may be used for therapy or prophylaxis (primary or secondary). In palliative care, antibiotics are used for both purposes.
Cross-border care for oncology patients
Inge Jochem
pp 20-25
Cost control, technological developments specialised care now dominate debates on healthcare. Expensive hospital care is gradually being replaced by ‘cheaper’ home care. In the context of serious and life-threatening diseases, ‘cure’ is increasingly being replaced by ‘care’. Healthcare providers need to adapt their knowledge and skills to these changing circumstances and keep pace with the speed of technological progress.
Self-help groups in palliative care
Liz Urben
pp 26-28
For more than a decade, self-help groups have been a part of the support available to people affected by cancer in the UK. Each year there is a regular increase in the number of such groups, and their role in community cancer care has now been recognised by the Calman–Hine Report. Patients can join a self-help group at any stage of their cancer, so groups will include the newly diagnosed and the terminally ill,
The implications of informed consent in palliative care
Lynne Russon
pp 29-31
‘Doctor, the porter is here now and the patient still hasn’t signed her consent form.’ I gather up the remains of the blood forms and hurry to the ward. ‘If you could just sign here, you’ll be ready,’ I say, thrusting the white form in front of the patient who sits waiting on her trolley. She signs and is rapidly wheeled out of the ward by an impatient porter.