INTRODUCTION: Patients with cancer are at high risk of developing pressure ulcers at the end of life as a result of their underlying condition or cancer treatment. There are many guidelines which set out best practice with regard to end-of-life skin care. However, the complexity of palliative cancer care often means that it is challenging for nurses to make the appropriate person-centred decisions about end-of-life skin care. This study seeks to explore the perceived importance that nurses place on different factors in their end-of-life skin care for patients with cancer. The utility, face validity and content validity of a prototype decision-making tool for end-of-life skin care will also be evaluated.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A mixed-method design will be used to gather data from primary and secondary care nurses working in different hospitals and local authority areas across Wales. Clinical vignettes will be used to gather qualitative and quantitative data from nurses in individual interviews. Qualitative data will be subject to thematic analysis and quantitative data will be subject to descriptive statistical analysis. Qualitative and quantitative data will then be synthesised, which will enhance the rigour of this study, and pertinently inform the further development of an end-of-life skin care decision-making tool for patients with cancer.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval to undertake the study has been granted by Cardiff University School of Healthcare Sciences Research Governance and Ethics Screening Committee. Informed consent will be obtained in writing from all the participants in this study. The results of this study will be disseminated through journal articles, as well as presentations at national and international conferences. We will also report our findings to patient and public involvement groups with an interest in improving cancer care, palliative care as well as skin care.
Elles affectent 5 % des patients atteints de cancer et 10 % de ceux à un stade métastatique. Leur pronostic vital est péjoratif, souvent inférieur à 6 mois.Les plaies cancéreuses peuvent résulter d’un processus destructif ou prolifératif. Elles ne cicatrisent pas spontanément et reflètent l’état d’avancée du cancer.
Introduction: Malignant fungating wounds (MFWs), non-healing wounds caused by aggressive proliferation of malignant tumors, afflict 5%-14.5% of patients with advanced cancer. We conducted an integrative review to evaluate the level of evidence of peer-reviewed literature published from 2000 to 2019 on symptoms of MFWs, and the impact of the symptoms on functional performance among patients with advanced cancer.
Methods: Four electronic databases were searched and 1506 articles were retrieved. A total of 1056 abstracts were screened for relevance and a full review of the 26 articles was performed. A total of 12 articles met inclusion criteria. An established quality assessment tool was used to rate the quality of the included studies.
Results: The overall quality of the included 12 studies was adequate. This integrative review of the literature provided strong evidence that patients with MFWs suffered multiple symptoms, including pain, odor, exudate, bleeding, pruritus, perceived wound status, perceived bulk effect and lymphedema. Quantitative research was not able to capture the occurrence and characteristics of all the identified symptoms. There was a lack of quantitative research on the impact of MFWs and symptoms on patients' functional performance. Yet, qualitative studies provided vivid description of how the symptoms negatively affected patients' functional performance. Future research should develop a clinical tool that enables the comprehensive assessment of symptoms of MFWs. Well-designed quantitative research is needed to delineate the impact of symptoms of MFWs on patients' functional performance to ensure quality palliative care.
Introduction: Intravenous lidocaine is an option for intractable pain caused by advancing cancer and wound care. We report a case of intractable cancer pain and wound care pain managed with concurrent use of lidocaine administered as a twice daily intravenous bolus in addition to continuous intravenous infusion.
Case Description: A 31-year-old male with rapidly progressing locally advanced squamous cell cancer affecting the gluteal area developed extensive painful and purulent ulcerating wounds affecting the coccyx, superior gluteal cleft, and buttocks. Laboratory tests were within normal limits, except for low albumin results. The patient's Palliative Performance Score was 60%. A trial of intravenous lidocaine 150 mg administered twice daily before dressing changes improved analgesia according to the patient's report. For additional improvement, a continuous intravenous infusion of lidocaine 1 mg/minute was initiated, in addition to the twice daily bolus infusions of lidocaine. The patient's pain score with dressing changes improved from 8–10 of 10 to 4–5 of 10 within 24 hours after initiation of the continuous intravenous lidocaine infusion. Lidocaine infusion was administered for a period of 45 days with targeted lidocaine blood levels not exceeding 5 mcg/mL. Twice daily lidocaine bolus infusions before dressing changes were administered for a total duration of 63 days. The lidocaine continuous intravenous infusion was discontinued on day 45 of therapy as a potential contributing factor to central nervous system adverse effects and in anticipation of transition to a subacute rehabilitation facility.
Discussion: Intravenous lidocaine added to the efficacy of standard analgesic medications and nerve block procedures in our patient. This case demonstrates increasing blood lidocaine levels with continuous intravenous infusion despite stable clinical parameters and laboratory markers of major organ function. Monitoring lidocaine levels is a prudent course of action to identify drug accumulation with administration of lidocaine by continuous intravenous infusion.
Malignant fungating wounds present in 5-14% of advanced cancer patients in the United States and are a result of cancerous cells infiltrating and proliferating in the skin. Presentation of malignant fungating wounds often occurs in the last 6 months of life and therefore become symbols of impending death for patients and their families. Due to the incurable and severe nature of these wounds, patients require palliative care until death to minimize pain and suffering. Symptoms associated with these chronic wounds include malodor, pain, bleeding, necrosis, large amounts of exudate, increased microbial growth, and more. Limited research using culture-based techniques has been conducted on malignant fungating wounds and therefore no optimal approach to treating these wounds has been established. Despite limited data, associations between the cutaneous microbiome of these wounds and severity of symptoms have been made. The presence of at least one strain of obligate anaerobic bacteria is linked with severe odor and exudate. A concentration of over 105/g bacteria is linked with increased pain and exudate. Bacterial metabolites such as DMTS and putrescine are linked with components of malignant fungating wound odor and degradation of periwound skin. The few but significant associations made between the malignant fungating wound microbiome and severity of symptoms indicate that further study on this topic using 16S rRNA gene sequencing may reveal potential therapeutic targets within the microbiome to significantly improve current methods of treatment used in the palliative care approach.
Malignant wounds are a complication of cancer, and usually occur in those individuals with advanced disease. When healing ceases to be the goal, treatment is centred around symptom control and improving quality of life. Caring for individuals with malignant wounds presents challenges for patients, their families and nurses alike. This article discusses the holistic management of malignant wounds, with an emphasis on the control of both physical and psychosocial symptoms of wound management, as well as the impact that this may have on all those involved. Common physical symptoms of malignant wounds include malodour, bleeding, pain, exudate and pruritis. Psychosocial symptoms may result in social isolation and depression. All these symptoms have a huge impact, not only on patients and their families, but also on healthcare professionals both during and after care. Managing these symptoms requires a multidisciplinary approach to facilitate the best possible outcomes for patients and their caregivers.
Kennedy terminal ulcers, a subset of pressure injuries, are associated with the dying process. This scoping review aimed to identify and map the published literature on Kennedy terminal ulcers in terms of its definition, prevalence, assessment, treatment, management, health care costs, and quality of life for patients in all health care settings. Using the Arksey and O’Malley scoping review framework, we systematically searched the Cochrane Library, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and ProQuest databases and 5 guideline repositories between 1983 and 2018. The following search terms were used: Kennedy ulcers, Kennedy terminal ulcers, terminal ulcer, skin failure, and Skin Changes at Life’s End. Data were extracted using a purposely developed data collection tool. Initial searches yielded 2997 sources, with 32 included in this review. Most Kennedy terminal ulcer literature was published by nurses in the United States. Kennedy terminal ulcer prevalence data are limited, with no validated assessment tools available. Kennedy terminal ulcers may be misclassified as pressure injuries, potentially resulting in financial penalties to the institution. This scoping review revealed significant knowledge and clinical practice gaps in patient assessment, management, and treatment of Kennedy terminal ulcers. Timely patient education may help them to make informed care and quality end-of-life decisions. Further research is needed to inform clinical practice to improve patient care.
Palliative wound care is a philosophy of wound management that prioritizes comfort over healing and attends to the emotional distress these wounds can cause. Intervention strategies focus on management of symptoms such as pain, odor, bleeding, and exudate. Historic treatments such as honey, chlorine, and vinegar have gained renewed interest, and although well suited to the palliative setting, there is an increasing amount of research exploring their efficacy in other contexts. The lived experience of patients and caregivers facing these wounds is often stressful and isolating, and any treatment plan must address these issues along with the physical aspects of care.
BACKGROUND: Pressure injury is a common clinical parameter of patient care outcome. Various risk factors increase the risk of palliative care patients to pressure injuries and difficult wound healing. Healthcare professionals are aware that wound healing is difficult, but they still focus on this process instead of providing the needs of patients with unhealed wounds.
METHODS: This study aims to identify the clinical parameters of pressure injuries in relation to patients with advanced illness. A retrospective analysis of the records of patients with pressure injuries admitted over 18 months was performed. Descriptive analysis and Spearman's correlation coefficient were used.
RESULTS: A total of 127 clinical records were reviewed. The study revealed that patients of old age, high creatinine level, advanced wound age, reduced palliative performance scale (PPS) and low Norton scores are prone to suffer from unhealed wounds.
CONCLUSIONS: Pressure injuries are prone to non-healing in patients with old age, high creatinine level, advanced wound stage, low PPS and low Norton scores. Further studies involving patients in earlier stage can be considered.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the factors that are effective for the treatment, recovery of pressure injury (PI) and costs in palliative care (PC) patients.
Materials and Methods: From a retrospective review of patient records, the PI localization, the presence of infection, PI stage on admission, discharge and treatment costs were recorded. Patients were grouped according to diagnoses, and PI localizations (sacrum, trochanter, ischium, and heel). The comparison was made of changes in wound stage in the groups.
Results: PI was present in all 154 patients during hospitalization and in 94 (61%) on discharge. Full recovery was determined in 52/129 (40.3%) patients with PI in the sacrum, in 23/46 (50%) in the trochanter, in 22/40 (55.0%) in the heel, and in 10/12 (83.3%) in the ischium. Worsening PI stage was observed in 5 (3.9%) in the sacrum, in 1 in the trochanter and in 4 in the heel. Improvement in PI stage was seen in 96 (74.4%) in the sacrum, in 35 (3.9%) in the trochanter, in 27 (50.5%) in the heel, and in 10 (83.3%) in the ischium. Regardless of wound localization, the improvement was observed in 168 (74%) of 227 PI and worsening in 10 (4.4%). The group with no change in the PI stage had prolonged hospital stay and higher costs. The Karnovsky Performance Score and Glasgow Coma Score of fully recovered patients were determined to be higher, and no statistically significant difference was seen in respect of age.
Conclusions: PC patients are prone to PI due to many chronic diseases. The localization of PI and infection are effective factors in the healing of ulcers. The treatment costs for PC patients is higher if they have a pressure ulcer. More comprehensive studies will be useful to clarify the economic and social dimensions of this issue.
CONTEXT: Patients with advanced illnesses show the highest prevalence for pressure ulcers. In the palliative care setting the ultimate goal is injury healing, but equally important is wound maintenance, wound palliation (wound-related pain and symptom management), and primary and secondary wound prevention.
OBJECTIVES: To describe the course of healing for pressure ulcers in a home palliative care setting according to different end-points, and to explore patient and caregiver characteristics and specific care activities associated with their achievement.
METHODS: Four-year retrospective chart review of 669 patients cared for in a home palliative care service, of those 124 (18.5%) patients had at least one pressure ulcer with a survival rate =6 months.
RESULTS: The proportion of healed pressure ulcers was 24.4%. Of the injuries not healed, 34.0% were in a maintenance phase, while 63.6% were in a process of deterioration. Body Mass Index (p=0.0014), artificial nutrition (p=0.002), and age <70 years (p=0.022) emerged as predictive factors of pressure ulcer complete healing. Artificial nutrition, age, male caregiver (p=0.034) and spouse (p=0.036) were factors significantly associated with a more rapid pressure ulcer healing. Continuous deep sedation was a predictive factor for pressure ulcer deterioration and significantly associated with a more rapid worsening.
CONCLUSION: Pressure ulcer healing is a realistic aim in home palliative care, particularly for injuries not exceeding Stage II occurring at least two weeks before death. When assessing pressure ulcers, our results highlight the need to also pay attention to artificial nutrition, continuous deep sedation, and the caregiver's role and gender.
Introduction: Cancer wounds need regular dressing; else they develop infection, foul odor, and in extreme cases, maggots. Patients resist dressing due to the severe incidental pain during dressing. Intranasal ketamine was tried as an analgesic to reduce this incidental pain.
Materials and Methods: Twenty patients with wounds requiring regular dressing were selected; these patients had a basal pain score of 4/10 and incidental pain score of 7/10 during four consecutive dressings. Ketamine 0.5 mg/kg was administered transmucosally 10 min before dressing, and pain scores, hemodynamic parameters, and sedation were recorded for up to 2 h in six consecutive dressings.
Results: Ketamine produced a significant reduction in incidental pain without any hemodynamic changes or sedation.
Conclusion: Ketamine appears to be a safe and effective analgesic when used intranasally for incidental pain.
INTRODUCTION: With advanced-stage head and neck cancers, patients may develop large and/or complex wounds despite multiple reconstruction attempts. Wound coverage may require novel approaches to palliate the patient.
METHOD: We present the case of a 56-year-old female with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the scalp and skull who required multiple surgical interventions. Despite our best reconstructive efforts, the patient subsequently developed scalp infection and sepsis, necessitating further debridement for source control. She then required coverage of the exposed dura and skull to prevent further infection.
RESULTS: The calvarial wound was covered with a dermal regeneration template and held in place by a vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) device. This coverage prevented additional infection and morbidity, was relatively easy and comfortable to manage, and demonstrated healing and development of granulation. Unfortunately, the patient succumbed to her systemic cancer before application of a palliative split-thickness skin graft.
CONCLUSION: A VAC device and dermal regeneration template constituted an excellent modality for managing the complex calvarial wound encountered by otolaryngology, neurosurgery, and burn/wound services. The technique provided appropriate palliation for a patient with advanced head and neck cancer.
Palliative care approaches that effectively manage distressful symptoms associated with wounds at the end of life remain elusive. This 4-week study examined a topical wound powder RGN107 for reducing pain, odor, and exudate in 50 patients with pressure ulcers, skin tears, and malignant/fungating and vascular wounds receiving hospice or palliative care and explored quality of life for the caregiver. Through an observational design, the outcomes were measured with visual analog scales, 2 pain questionnaires, and a caregiver quality-of-life instrument. Intent-to-treat analyses were used. Statistically significant reductions in pain (P = .001), odor (P = .04), and exudate (P = .00003) were observed. Caregiver quality of life remained unchanged (P = .28); however, improvements were noted in 3 subscales. Findings suggest topical RGN107 reduced pain, odor, and exudate in a highly challenged population with wounds at the end of life. A larger comparative effectiveness trial should be conducted with other wound powder comparators and usual care approaches and should include cost benefits.
Wound healing involves complex biochemical cellular events that follow a relatively predictable or expected trajectory. Successful wound management is contingent on i) meticulous assessment and treatment of the underlying cause; ii) establishment of a plan of care that aligns with patients' expectations, values, and priorities to promote treatment adherence; and iii) provision of optimal local wound care (Woo et al, 2015). There are four essential components for local wound care: judicious debridement or desloughing of devitalised tissue, control of infection (bioburden)/prolonged inflammation, and maintenance of moisture balance on wound bed (Woo et al, 2015). However, it is not realistic to expect all wounds to achieve complete closure. [Extrait]
Au sommaire de ce dossier : Un accompagnement spécialisé et personnalisé - La prise en charge des plaies en fin de vie - Les plaies tumorales en soins palliatifs - Prise en charge des escarres en soins palliatifs dans les services de gériatrie - La chirurgie des plaies chez des patients en soins palliatifs - Soins palliatifs et télémédecine - L'apport de la télémédecine dans la prise en charge des escarres en soins palliatifs - Ischémie critique des membres inférieurs chez un patient âgé - Prise en charge des patients en phase terminale - Les enjeux du traitement des plaies en soins palliatifs.
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