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Reflections on lymphoedema, fungating wounds and the power of touch in the last weeks of life

Citation

Fenton, S, Reflections on lymphoedema, fungating wounds and the power of touch in the last weeks of life, International journal of palliative nursing, 17, (2) pp. 60-66. ISSN 1357-6321 (2011) [Non Refereed Article]

Abstract

Terminal care is a significant chapter of life in which each individual has the right to expect dignity, compassion, holistic care, and quality of life. The case of 'Sally', a 57-year-old woman with a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer, left arm lymphoedema, and a fungating chest wound, gave palliative care nurses a multitude of distressing and complex challenges to manage. Management of lymphoedema is often put into the 'too hard basket', especially in the palliative care setting. Similarly, fungating wounds are hard to confront, and the power of touch is often underestimated. The aim of this case study is to explore and reflect on how these issues entwine, and how vital it is for nurses to feel comfortable in providing the most appropriate care. As a result of reflection on Sally's care management many issues were highlighted, including the crucial need to relieve her symptoms with timely, appropriate, dignified, and respectful care, optimizing her sense of worth and quality of life.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Health and Support Services
Objective Field:Palliative Care
Author:Fenton, S (Ms Fenton)
ID Code:77091
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Health Sciences B
Deposited On:2012-03-17
Last Modified:2012-03-17
Downloads:0

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