Vim & Vigor - Summer 2017 - North Mississippi - 49
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PALLIATIVE CARE FACTS
PALLIATIVE CARE IS
* Work with other healthcare providers in
* The patient makes frequent hospital visits
the hospital setting to provide symptom
management while still having disease
management and treatment
* Provide gentle, thoughtful, respectful
* Address symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, loss of appetite
and difficulty sleeping
for similar problems
* The patient is experiencing a longer than
expected hospital stay
HOW IS PALLIATIVE CARE
DIFFERENT FROM HOSPICE?
* The healthcare team, patient or family
needs help with complex decision-making
* The patient has an unacceptable level of
pain or other symptoms of distress
* The patient has unresolved psychosocial
or spiritual issues
PALLIATIVE CARE WILL:
* Educate you and your family about treat-
ment options that are in line with your goals
"He was already in poor health-he
was in chronic pain from a wreck years
ago, he was essentially blind from
macular degeneration and had COPD,"
Wambles says. "We talked to a neurosurgeon in the ER and knew pretty
quickly that this wasn't something he
could really recover from."
Wambles' brother, Hoyt Burdick,
MD, a physician and chief medical officer at a hospital in Huntington, West
Virginia, says the transition of care
was seamless and compassionate.
His father was transferred from the
Emergency Department to the Critical
Care unit, where the family met Lucas
McElwain, MD, a palliative care physician who provides care for inpatients
"We had a crucial conversation with
Dr. McElwain about our dad's wishes,"
Burdick says. "As much as we loved
him, it became about fulfilling his
wishes. We wanted him to be comfortable and give him the greatest quality
of life possible for what remained. It
never felt like we were giving up-just
respecting what he wanted."
Soon after, the elder Burdick was
Hospice care focuses on terminally ill
patients who no longer benefit from
curative treatments. Palliative care is not
limited to hospice patients.
moved to the inpatient hospice unit
so his family could spend more time
"Thankfully, we had sufficient time
for out-of-town family to make it to
Tupelo," his son says. "It was a tragic
time for us, but a tribute to the seamlessness of care at NMMC. Palliative
care starts at the first encounter.
Everyone from the emergency physician,
neurosurgeon and the hospitalist were
very involved. They showed great teamwork. In fact, it's given me ideas and
ways to improve the care at my hospital
based on my experience at NMMC."
Wambles says the peace of knowing
her father was no longer in pain was a
blessing to her.
"He was unable to communicate verbally with us, but we could tell when he
was hurting by a certain way he would
frown or grimace," she says. "After we
started the palliative care, that was
rare. Dr. McElwain understood our pain
and knew we didn't want him to hurt.
The care we received was more than we
could have expected. He passed away at
peace, surrounded by his three children
and three grandchildren." n
North Mississippi Medical Center
welcomed its first palliative care
physicians in 2016:
cum laude from
of Mississippi in
Oxford with a
He received his medical degree from
the University of Mississippi School of
Medicine in Jackson and completed a
clinical fellowship in hospice and palliative care at the University of Alabama at
Birmingham Department of Medicine.
He is board-certified in internal medicine
and geriatrics. McElwain cares for hospital
patients at NMMC.
patients at NMMC
magna cum laude
with a bachelor's
degree from the University of Alabama in
Tuscaloosa. Hinton received her medical
degree from the University of Alabama
at Birmingham. She went on to complete a residency in internal medicine
and a fellowship in palliative care at the
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Hospital. Hinton is board-certified in
SUMME R 2017