Inpatient Palliative Care
The arrival in 2013 of Eve Block, MD, a highly experienced expert in palliative care, resulted in the creation of BMC’s first Inpatient Palliative Care Consultation Service, which includes the care of cancer patients. Palliative care provides specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses with the goal of improving quality of life for both patients and their families. The palliative care team focuses on providing patients with relief from the pain, stress and symptoms of their serious illness – whatever the diagnosis.
Dr. Block is chief of the new division, which includes two hospitalists, Tony Makdisi, MD, FACP, and Seetha Muthavarapu, MD, certified in hospice and palliative care, three social workers, a palliative care pharmacist and two chaplains. Team members are available to support patients and their families and work with other medical professionals to discuss patient prognosis, goals of medical care, and optimal treatment plans to achieve those goals. The palliative care team works together with all of the patient's doctors and caregivers to provide an extra layer of support at any stage in a serious illness.
Studies have shown that early involvement with palliative care results in improved quality of life, better communication of patient wishes, and increased satisfaction with care. Palliative care is provided in conjunction with curative treatment to help alleviate physical, psychosocial, and spiritual distress of chronic life-limiting illness and its treatment.