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Futility of Care and Palliative Care

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Textbook of Emergency General Surgery
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Improved technology, surgical and critical care techniques have given surgery the ability to prolong life in the direst circumstances, even when there is no hope for successful treatment of their underlying pathology. Any surgical treatment that reasonably unlikely reaches the “goal of care” is “futile”. The goal of care is the effect of surgical treatment appreciated as a benefit for the patient. Frailty, severe comorbidities, and the severity of acute illness must be triggers to address the issue of possible surgical futility. In an emergency, the surgeon undergoes numerous pressures to operate even in presence of probable futility: the prognostic uncertainty, the limited time available to decide, and the condition of imminent danger of life. Concurrent palliative care must be integrated and practiced into the principles and practice of emergency surgery

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Malacarne, P., Pini, S. (2023). Futility of Care and Palliative Care. In: Coccolini, F., Catena, F. (eds) Textbook of Emergency General Surgery. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-22598-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-22599-4

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