July 28, 2016 – Calling for a Consult


Anchor lead: You can ask for a palliative care consultation yourself, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Many people with troubling and sometimes disabling symptoms of chronic health conditions aren’t offered palliative care, a medical specialty devoted to helping people live best with such problems, a recent study concluded.  Rab Razzak, a palliative care expert at Johns Hopkins, says patients can help themselves here.

Razzak:  It’s important to prepare for the worst, especially for people who have a life limiting illness. Get educated.  There are many resources out there in the community, like getpalliativecare.org.  Number two is talk to your doctors about this, and say, hey, I’ve read that palliative care can be beneficial for me or for my family member, can we get palliative care involved?  One thing we’re doing is we’re educating doctors and nurses about what palliative care is, what it isn’t, and also many of the benefits of palliative care, and the impact of quality of life, of survival, of hope.   :30

Razzak says if you or a loved one is living with chronic disease, it’s been shown that palliative care really helps throughout the course of illness.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.