Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 569–571 | Cite as

Unplanned hospital admissions of palliative care patients: a great challenge for internal and emergency medicine physicians

  • Paolo CotogniEmail author
  • Anna De Luca
  • Andrea Saini
  • Luca Brazzi

The symptom burden that advanced cancer patients experience in the last months of their lives often leads them to Emergency Department (ED) care [1, 2]. Frequently, the care that these patients receive during their last 6–12 months of life is more aimed at prolonging their lives, repeatedly admitting them to hospital and even to an intensive care unit (ICU) rather than to palliate their symptoms [3, 4].

The topic of unplanned hospital admissions of advanced cancer patients is crucial and very interesting. Thus, we read the paper of Mercadante et al. [5] with interest, and we compliment the authors for investigating the characteristics of advanced cancer patients with an unplanned admission to an acute palliative care unit (APCU).

Historically, palliative care services have focused on the needs of advanced cancer patients. Conversely, the majority of people needing palliative care are patients with life-limiting non-oncological illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic...


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Palliative Care Emergency Department Visit National Comprehensive Cancer Network National Comprehensive Cancer Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent



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Copyright information

© SIMI 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pain Management and Palliative Care, Department of Anesthesia and Intensive CareAOU Città della Salute e della ScienzaTurinItaly
  2. 2.Department of Surgical SciencesUniversity of TurinTurinItaly

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