Palliative medicine is a branch of medicine which focuses on the treatment of people with life-limiting diseases. This discipline concentrates on methodologies which can provide relief from the symptoms, physical stress, pain and mental stress. The main aim of palliative medicine is to improve the quality of life of both the patients and their families.
Palliative medicine is usually provided by a team of nurses, physicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who work together with doctors to provide additional support. The discipline is practised across different settings including home, hospitals and nursing facilities.
Palliative care is usually given to those patients who have serious diseases and have a physical, psychological and social distress as a result of the treatment they are receiving. The use of palliative medicine, above all in the intensive care unit context, has been proved to have improving effects on the patient.
Palliative medicine is not only applied to adults but also to children. In this context, the discipline includes physical, emotional, social and spiritual elements and concentrates on enhancing the quality of life of the young person, as well as supporting the whole family.
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