What are the NCCN guidelines for palliative sedation in patients with cancer?

Updated: Jun 01, 2019
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; more...
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NCCN guidelines for palliative sedation are also in general agreement with EAPC.  Additional specific recommendations include the following [4] :

  • Palliative sedation is best performed by palliative care experts
  • The patient must have refractory symptoms that cannot be controlled despite aggressive palliative care that does not compromise consciousness, and death is anticipated within hours to days as confirmed by two physicians
  • Reassignment of health care providers who cannot provide sedation due to personal or professional beliefs as long as patient care can safely be transferred to another health care professional
  • Maintain current pain and symptom management interventions
  • Monitor patient symptoms and titrate sedatives and other medications to maintain a level of sedation that relieves the patient’s refractory symptoms
  • Provide ongoing psychosocial and spiritual support for the patient’s family and health care providers

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