Some definitions courtesy of ALLINA HEALTH SYSTEM ® A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ALLINA HEALTH SYSTEM © 2010
A discussion with your loved ones about your goals and values for future health care needs. An advance care plan provides information to others about your wishes in case illness or injury prevents you from telling them yourself.
Advance directives are the plans you make for future health care in the event you become unable to make these decisions yourself. these plans can be verbal but are usually in writing. it is easier to communicate these plans if you put them in writing.
Medications used to fight infections. used to treat illnesses or relieve symptoms.
When a person can no longer eat or drink, liquid fluids can be given by tube.
The ability to take in information, understand its meaning and make an informed decision using the information. capacity varies by task. the capacity to chose a trusted individual as an appropriate health care agent differs from the capacity to agree to a medical procedure or treatment.
Attempts to restart breathing and the heartbeat of a person who has no heartbeat or has stopped breathing. cPr involves “mouth-to-mouth” breathing and forceful pressure on the chest to restart the heart. usually involves electric shot (defibrillation) and a plastic tube down the throat into the wind pipe to assist breathing (intubation).
Medical care provided with the primary goal of keeping a person comfortable rather than prolonging life. comfort measures are used to relieve pan and other symptoms.
A treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. it is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body’s needs.
Financial Power of Attorney grants a trusted agent the authority to act on behalf of the principle in financial matters
An advance care planning document written in everyday language that helps start and structure important conversations about care in times of serious illness. http://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php
Guardianship is a court appointment which gives a person or an organization responsibility and authority for making decisions on behalf of an adult who is unable to manage his/her own affairs and make his/her own decisions
The form used to designate an “agent” (also called the health care proxy). your agent makes health care decisions on your behalf only if you are unable to make decisions yourself.
A care program that provides a centralized program of palliative medicine and supportive services to dying persons and their families, in the form of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual care; such services are provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers who are available at home and in specialized inpatient settings.
A small plastic tube (catheter) is inserted directly into the vein and fluids are given through the tube.
Mechanical ventilation is used to support or replace the function of the lungs. A ventilator (or respira- tor), is a machine attached to a tube inserted through the nose or mouth and into the windpipe, forces air into the lungs. mechanical ventilation is often used to assist a person through a short-term problem or for prolonged periods in which irreversible respiratory failure exists. Some people on long-term mechanical ventilation are able to enjoy themselves and live a quality of life that is important for them. For the person dying however, mechanical ventila- tion often merely prolongs the dying process until some other body system fails. it may supply oxygen but it can not improve the underlying condition.
Placing a tube down an individual’s windpipe to assist in breathing. intubation is followed by mechanical ventilation.
A form permitting you to state your wishes ahead of time in case you develop a terminal, irreversible condition that prevents you from making and communicating your wishes. Although not a legal state form, the living will provides the “clear and convincing evidence” needed to have your wishes carried out.
The technique through which gas is moved toward and from the lungs through an external device connected directly to the patient.
The medical durable power of attorney (MDPOA) allows people who become unable to make their own decisions to exercise their beliefs and wishes regarding medical procedures. The person's agent can communicate on behalf of the sick or injured person, preventing unwanted treatment.
A mobile doctor’s order that helps you keep control over your medical care at end of life. The form tells emergency and medical personnel and other health care providers where or not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of a medical emergency, as well as provide other information regarding level of medical intervention and preference around artificial nutrition. Utilized in State of Colorado.
Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.
Providing fluids and/or nutrition by way of a tube placed into the stomach or intestines. on a short-term basis, the tube (nasogastric tube or nG tube) is placed into the nose, down the throat and into the stomach. For the long-term, the tube is placed directly into the stomach (gastric or G tube).