Syringe-Driver & Hospice

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Barquentine | 08:38 Sun 02nd May 2021 | Body & Soul
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Has anyone else heard that, once a cancer patient goes into a hospice, they are likely to be put on a syringe-driver even if they don't need that yet, since these both reduce pain and keep the patient sedated, which really helps, because they are short-staffed and have limited beds. Once on the cocktail of drugs in a syringe-driver, the patient lasts only 2 to 4 days - but at least it's peaceful. What is best? Keep on prolonging the inevitable so they can enduy the pain for longer, or be pain-free and go sooner?


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My (limited) understanding of hospice care is that they are very much led by the patients wishes. Therefore if the patient doesn’t want syringe driver it’s unlikely that it wld be foisted on them
After watching my late wife in constant pain it was such a relief to see her lying peacefully until she passed away
Pain-free for me every time. If I'm so near the end why prolong it?
////because they are short-staffed and have limited beds//.

That would seem a pragmatic approach but I just don't know the answer to that.

I would think that continuous pain relief and logistics would come into any such equation.

Terminal cancer patients 9ften have severe pain and syringe driven administration of analgesia seems a sensible approach. I would hesitate to say that it would be done routinely rather than medical need.
//once a cancer patient goes into a hospice, they are likely to be put on a syringe-driver even if they don't need that yet//

In my experience that doesn't happen. Some patients are in hospices for months - and not everyone who goes into a hospice dies there. Don't listen to scare stories. I have great respect for the work hospices do. All credit to them.
I've never known it to be done routinely, only when needed by the patient. I wouldn't necessarily say people only last for a couple of days, they usually say anything between a few hours to a couple of weeks. In my experience, usually around 4 days. However, there is some uncertainty, because if you give a medication to somebody on end-of-life care, it isn't necessarily that which causes a death.
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Thanks everybody. Very helpful answers. F-i-L is on a waiting list to go into hospice. He's frequently in pain. Will be much better if he is peaceful. One problem is hospice only allows same two people to visit - every afternoon between certain times. My wife has been doing so much for him while he has been with us these past 18 months - so she has to be one and we think the other should be her sister. After he's finally gone I'll be starting actions against the hospice for breaching human rights. There was no point having the vaccine at all. I will not be bothering with my second jab. Thanks a lot, china. No one is suggesting they pay reparations yet I note. what an effete, moribund society
Barquentine, I wouldn't worry about a hospice if that's what he needs. Sorry for the situation though. Covid restrictions are applying to everyone... and I'm assuming he no longer has a wife. Please, stay calm, and go with it xx
Being on a syringe driver doesn't necessarily mean that a patient is totally zonked out. My mother was on a syringe driver for weeks but she was still able to converse and have a laugh with me and my father.
Also morphine is controlled, and has to be properly and separately recorded, in a different way from other drugs. It's very difficult to abuse.

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