Palliative Ultrasound for Home Care Hospice Patients

Authors

  • Peter J. Mariani MD,

    1. From the Department of Emergency Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University (PJM), Syracuse, NY; and Hospice of Central New York (JAS), Liverpool, NY.
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  • Judith A. Setla MD, MPH

    1. From the Department of Emergency Medicine, SUNY Upstate Medical University (PJM), Syracuse, NY; and Hospice of Central New York (JAS), Liverpool, NY.
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  • A related commentary appears on page 330.

Address for correspondence and reprints: Peter J. Mariani, MD; e-mail: marianip@upstate.edu.

Abstract

The evolving relationship between emergency and palliative medicine is expected to benefit patients of each. Two collaborative care encounters involving home hospice patients are discussed. Portable bedside ultrasound was performed in the home to diagnose ascites and to guide palliative paracentesis. Specific interventions and outcomes are reported. The interface of emergency and palliative care and the use of paracentesis in cancer palliation are briefly reviewed. It is concluded that home-performed ultrasound and ultrasound-guided procedures are promising palliative modalities for care at the end of life.

ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2010; 17:293–296 © 2010 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine

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