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COPD, Heart Failure, and Renal Disease: Essential Practices in Hospice and Palliative Medicine

Advance your competence in caring for those with serious illness. This module focuses on COPD, heart failure, and renal disease including when to initiate palliative care, common causes of pain, communicating disease trajectory, assessment and management of symptoms, management of therapeutic strategies as disease progresses, and understanding hospice eligibility and referral.

Upon completion, the learner should be better able to:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• Describe the disease trajectory
• Describe the neurophysiology of dyspnea
• Demonstrate the assessment and treatment of COPD and dyspnea
• Discuss the indications for noninvasive ventilation (NIV) for end-stage COPD
• Describe the impact of anxiety and depression on patients with COPD

Heart failure (HF)
• Discuss when to initiate palliative care
• Discuss the prognosis for HF
• Describe medical and invasive therapies and how they translate to the palliative care setting
• Discuss symptom burden
• Describe when to refer patients with HF to hospice

Renal disease
• List common causes of pain
• Discuss safe opioid prescribing in renal failure
• List common nonpain symptoms and treatment options
• Discuss prognostication for patients who discontinue dialysis
• Describe the management of symptoms that commonly occur after dialysis discontinuation

Learn now

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) is the professional organization for physicians, nurses and other health care providers specializing in hospice and palliative care. Learn more.


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