Palliative Care in JHAH

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is comprehensive treatment of the discomfort, symptoms and stress of serious illness. It does not replace primary treatment; palliative care works together with the primary treatment. The goal is to prevent and ease suffering and improve quality of life.

When is Palliative Care Needed?

Palliative care  is helpful if a patient has distressing symptoms associated with a serious illness, including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, problems with sleep, side effects of medical treatments, and many other symptoms.

What does Palliative Care Provide?

Palliative care provides support for a patient and her/his family and can improve communication between them and health care providers. Palliative care strives to provide the following:

  • Expert treatment of pain and other symptoms to provide the best relief possible
  • Open discussion about treatment options and management of symptoms
  • Coordination of care with all health care providers
  • Emotional support for patient and family

Who can benefit from Palliative Care?

Many adults and children who live with serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney failure, AIDS and cystic fibrosis, among others, experience physical symptoms and emotional distress related to the disease. Sometimes these symptoms are associated with the medical treatments they are receiving. Palliative care could help if you or a family member:

  • Suffers from pain or other symptoms due to serious illness
  • Experiences physical or emotional pain that is not under control
  • Needs help understanding the situation and coordinating care

What happens when you leave the hospital?

When a patient leaves the hospital, the palliative care team will ensure the transition is as easy as possible. In addition, the palliative care team will provide their contact number if any question arises or the patient requires further assistance. Moreover, the palliative care team will conduct home visits if a patient needs assessment and treatment when it is difficult for him/her to come to the hospital for a clinic appointment.

palliative care team
From left to right: Dr. Tareq Bonohiyah, Dr. Shukri Qudihy, Khalid Jeaan, Dr. Zeina Khouri- Stevens, Dr. Thomas Smith JHMI, Fatima Al- Rashed, Zeinab Mahr, Dr. Amani Babgi, Dr. Mohammed Ghamdi, Dr. Rab Razzak.

John Hopkins Aramco Healthcare represented by the palliative care team, in coordination with the Medical Public Relations unit, conducted the first ever JHAH Palliative Care Symposium titled: “When comfort and time matter the most.” The one-day event was held on January 11, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the JHAH auditorium.

A range of experts representing multiple disciplines spoke at the event. They included one of the founders of palliative care, Dr. Thomas Smith, Director of Palliative Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical Institution (JHMI), and Dr. Rab Razzak, Director of Outpatient Palliative Care at JHMI. In addition, eight speakers from JHAH participated in the symposium.

More than 200 people attended, including about 50 representatives from some 10 Network Provider Hospitals.

Dr. Thomas Smith, Founder of Palliative Care in Johns Hopkins Medical Institute.