Sometimes patients with health problems that are not curable or reversible would not benefit from CPR attempts or mechanical ventilation; however, these patients might benefit from dialysis, antibiotics or other life-support treatments.
Comfort care involves continued, active medical, nursing and other social, emotional and spiritual care, frequently involving multiple medications, procedures, and activities. So when no life-support therapies are appropriate, patients receive active care to ensure their comfort and dignity.
Providing comfort care requires as much time, effort, skill and compassion by professional caregivers as other medical treatments.
Swedish Hospital's palliative care services provide comfort and supportive care during inpatient hospitalization. Comfort care may also be provided in alternate care settings such as extended care facilities, nursing homes and hospice care centers.
Your physician, the nursing staff, social workers, and pastoral care staff at Swedish Hospital are available to help answer your questions. You may also ask to speak to a member of the Ethics Resource Team to help you sort things out, or to help you and your family members in the process of making decisions. Please do not hesitate to ask.