What is Palliative care? Palliative care is looking after people with illness that cannot be cured, providing them holistic service and alleviating their sufferings.
To help patients in the final stages of cancer to embrace death without regrets is the aim of the palliative care department. A team of volunteers and doctors help ease excruciating pain, anxiety and depression that afflict patients, if not cure them completely.
Knowing that death is round the corner for these patients as they are all suffering from advanced stage of cancer, the doctors and support staff at the Palliative Care Unit try to ensure they do not suffer in pain.
With October 10 being observed as World Hospice and Palliative Care Day with the theme "Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients", experts assert that the goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for those facing complex illnesses.
The Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology observed the hospice and palliative care day, on October 10. Meena Nayak, volunteer, Department of Palliative care, KIDWAI, explained that the patients who were admitted there suffered from excruciating pain.
"In such cases, we have no option but to administer pain killers and and oral morphin solution (OMS) is given. This addresses the pain and also avoids the thought of regret about living."
But not all are fortunate enough to get this care. In Karnataka, hardly five per cent of patients get palliative care, says K.B. Lingegowda, Director of Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology. "At Kidwai, we see more than 2,000 new patients who require palliative care. Over 10,000 patients come for follow up every year," he says.