End-of-life care in a COPD patient awaiting lung transplantation: a case report


BMC Palliative Care


ABSTRACT:  COPD is nowadays the main indication for lung transplantation. In appropriately selected patients with end stage COPD, lung transplantation may improve quality of life and prognosis
of survival. However, patients with end stage COPD may die while waiting for lung
transplantation. Palliative care is important to address the needs of patients with end stage
COPD. This case report shows that in a patient with end stage COPD listed for lung
transplantation offering palliative care and curative-restorative care concurrently may be
problematic. If the requirements to remain a transplantation candidate need to be met, the
possibilities for palliative care may be limited. Discussing the possibilities of palliative care
and the patient’s treatment preferences is necessary to prevent that end-of-life care needs of
COPD patients dying while listed for lung transplantation are not optimally addressed. The
patient’s end-of-life care preferences may ask for a clear distinction between the period in
which palliative and curative-restorative care are offered concurrently and the end-of-life care
period. This may be necessary to allow a patient to spend the last stage of life according to
his or her wishes, even when this implicates that lung transplantation is not possible anymore
and the patient will die because of end stage COPD.


BMC Palliative Care 2010, 9:6

Resource Type:

Journal Article


Daisy J.A. Janssen et al

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