Breathlessness causes emotional and physical distress and social isolation for both patients and their families. Refractory breathlessness, i.e. that which persists even when measures to optimise the underlying condition have been implemented, is one of the most distressing symptoms experienced by patients with advanced life-limiting illnesses. This two-part series describes the experience of refractory breathlessness in patients with advanced disease living in the community, and provides guidance for their care. This, the first part in the series, outlines the experience of breathlessness and how community nurses can accurately assess patients. The second part of this series (available in the next issue of Journal of Community Nursing) will outline management techniques.
> Read More
This article provides an overview of lymphoedema and its management. It includes information on the definition of lymphoedema, anatomy (lymphatics), lymphoedema staging, complications and the psychosocial impact. This leads onto a discussion of the management methods that can be delivered by community staff and practice nurses who have received appropriate training. Involving patients and their family/carers in all aspects of the management plan can help them to cope with this lifelong condition and promote concordance with treatment.
> Read More