European Journal of Palliative Care - 1999

Comment: 6th Congress of the EAPC: 22–24 September 1999
Michèle Salamagne and Charles-Henri Rapin
pp 4-4
Dear friends and colleagues, Palliative care offers a biological, psychosocial and spiritual approach to patients and those close to them. This method of medicine and care allows for different values and the spiritual benefit that they can bestow.
Malignant pleural effusions
Fran Stretton, Polly Edmonds and Michael Marrinan
pp 5-9
Cancer is the second most common cause of pleural effusion, after heart failure, in patients over 50 years old. Almost half of all patients with metastatic cancer develop pleural effusion. The cancers commonly associated with an effusion are lung, breast, ovarian and gastric carcinomas, lymphoma and leukaemia. In combination, lung and breast cancers account for 75% of malignant pleural effusions (MPE).
Difficulties faced by hospital palliative care teams
Martine Ruszniewski and Lylyana Zivkovic
pp 11-14
Since the first palliative care units were created in France in 1987, palliative care structures have undergone continued development. In particular, there has been a marked increase in the number of hospital palliative care teams (HPCTs) over the last few years (in 1999, there were 54 bedded palliative care units and 74 HPCTs in France).
Information technology in practice
Véronique Bouteiller-Descas and Michèle Salamagne
pp 15-18
Over the past decade, information technology (IT) has become an important component of healthcare systems. Patient records in electronic format are now commonplace for healthcare professionals. Many medical, legal and political queries and disputes depend on these computerised medical records – these records therefore, require effective safeguards.
Hospice gardens
Anne Wood
pp 19-21
Hospices can greatly benefit from having a garden. Gardens can be comforting to patients, staff and relatives both passively – looking out the window – or actively – spending time in the garden. Views of trees, lawns, flowers and water promote healing by inducing an attentive state that reduces tension and fatigue.
Care of the dying in 18th century Spain – the non-hospice tradition
Juan Manuel Núñez Olarte
pp 23-27
From the medical historian’s point of view, palliative medicine is a ‘new’ discipline. The discipline therefore requires definition. It has evolved from a long tradition of hospice care, but in the Romance languages, the term ‘hospice’ means a home for the homeless rather than the modern healthcare centre. This semantic problem has led us to prefer the more acceptable term, ‘palliative care’.
The Belarus Children’s Hospice
Tomasz Dangel
pp 28-30
The Belarus Children’s Hospice (BCH) was founded in 1994 and is a nongovernmental organisation. The BCH’s purpose is to provide home care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Children are visited by staff and volunteers every day between 10am and 5pm. After 5pm, a nurse and doctor are on call. Nurses and doctors can be contacted by families via pagers.