In the early morning, before the hospice team meeting began and the patient care reports became formal, two nurses discussed a new 23-year-old patient.
When admitted into our hospice, this young patient had a Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) score of 60%. Her PPS* percentage meant she could easily get around her home and required minimal assistance for most daily activities. Compared to many patients, she was remarkably independent.
Less than two days later, she was in crisis.
Pain had suddenly wracked her body, and it took hours of intensive work for nurses to get her comfortable. She was in her twenties. She was strong. Her cancer was terrifying, but if—the nurses hoped—she could settle down, have her pain reduced, and get some sleep, then maybe . . .
How could someone active, and able to talk and share and wonder what the next meal or who the next visitor might be, die so quickly? The family and hospice staff that cared for the vibrant young woman was crushed. Read More →by