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  • Introduction
  • 1. Advance Care Planning
  • 2. Communicating Bad News
  • 3. Whole Patient Assessment
  • 4. Pain Management
  • 5. Assisted Suicide Debate
  • 6. Anxiety, Delirium
  • 7. Goals of Care
  • 8. Sudden Illness
  • 9. Medical Futility
  • 10. Common Symptoms
  • 11. Withholding Treatment
  • 12. Last Hours of Living
  • 13. Cultural Issues
  • 14. Religion, Spirituality
  • 15. Legal Issues
  • 16. Social and Psychological
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    Site Index
    Back to Module 8: Sudden Illness
    Why are Knowledge and Skills Specific to Situations of Sudden Illness Necessary?

    Why are Knowledge and Skills Specific to Situations of Sudden Illness Necessary?

    • In situations of sudden illness, the patient and family members frequently find themselves in a turbulent environment—such as the ER or ICU—where:
      • There are many people involved in the care of the patient
      • The situation is constantly changing
      • Critical decisions need to be made rapidly
    • During these times, physicians and other members of the health care team are simultaneously working to:
      • Save the patient’s life
      • Manage symptoms
      • Prepare the patient and/or family for
        • Possible outcomes
        • Hard decisions they will need to make
    • The uncertainty and chaotic nature of these situations can make it difficult for patient, families, and the health care team alike
    • The goal of this module is to enable physicians to effectively facilitate decision-making in situations of sudden illness where a patient’s condition is changing quickly and there is prognostic uncertainty
    • The module discusses guiding principles and steps the physician should take to
      • Optimize communication
      • Provide structure in an atmosphere of uncertainty
      • Ensure that decisions are based on informed consent and identified goals of care
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