[Hospice for end-stage heart failure and its relevance to Israel].

Yael Potashnik-Peled*, Michael Arad, Dov Freimark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The recently improved cardiac diagnostic and therapeutic means associated with improved life-expectancy of patients, highlighted the special needs of the worldwide ever-growing numbers of patients with end-stage heart failure and their families. The hospice--palliative treatment approach to end-stage heart failure patients has been well defined and recommended by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). The principles of this approach is aimed towards achieving a maximum relief of symptoms, avoiding interference (acceleration or delay) with life expectancy; ensuring daily activity and reasonable quality of life, and providing mental and spiritual support to the patients and their close family members. Obviously, it requires a trained multidisciplinary team including a senior physician, a nurse, a psychologist and a social worker. In order to be eligible for hospice and palliative care, endstage systolic heart failure patients should meet defined criteria including: severity of illness (NYHA class IV), clinical deterioration observed within the last six months and unsuitability for advanced therapeutic options. Recently, the Israeli Ministry of Health has adapted the W.H.O. recommendations, instructing all Local health service providers to expand this service and establish it according to well-defined guidelines and standards of care. Accessibility of all end-stage heart failure patients in Israel to this service will critically contribute to their physical and mental comfort, their dignity, and to the benefit of their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-362, 418
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011


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