Breathlessness Flashcards Preview

Cancer Care > Breathlessness > Flashcards

Flashcards in Breathlessness Deck (45)
Loading flashcards...
1

Why is breathlessness an important symptom to consider in palliative care?

The experience of being breathless can be frightening both for patient and family, and it can
affect individuals not only physically but also emotionally and socially.

2

How common is breathlessness in cancer?

50-70% of patients

3

What does the successful treatment of breathlessness require?

A combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures

4

Why is it necessary to determine the cause of breathlessness?

To identify any potentially reversible causes

5

What can the causes of breathlessness be divided into?

- Cancer-related
- Treatment-rleated
- Other cause

6

What are the cancer related causes of breathlessness?

- Airway obstruction
- Pleural effusion
- Anaemia
- Ascites

7

What are the treatment related causes of breathlessness?

- Surgery
- Radiotherapy
- Drugs causing fluid retention

8

What are the other causes of breathlessness?

- Infection
- Cardiac disease
- Chronic respiratory disease
- Pulmonary disease

9

What might be helpful when assessing a patient with breathlessness?

The presence of a carer

10

Why might the presence of a carer be helpful when discussing breathlessness?

Assessment requires detailed discussion, which may be difficult for the patient

11

What needs to be addressed when considering 'total breathlessness'?

The physical, psychological, social, and spiritual domains

12

Give 2 breathlessness measurement tools?

- MRC dyspnoea scale
- Dyspnoea-12 scale

13

What does the MRC dyspnoea scale measure?

Physical impact of breathlessness

14

What does the dyspnoea-12 scale include?

Emotional factors

15

What is the limitation of using breathlessness measurement tools?

They are not sufficient on their own

16

What should the assessment of breathlessness include?

- Holistic assessment of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual domains
- Detailed history including known disease status
- Identification of any symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Impact of breathlessness on patients lifestyle
- Patients coping strategies
- Meaning and implications of symptom on patient

17

What it is essential to determine when managing breathlessness?

The patients aims for treatment, and the sort of therapies and investigations they are able/prepared to undergo

18

Give 5 examples of potentially reversible causes of breathlessness?

- Infection
- Pleural effusion
- Arrythmias
- Anaemia
- Haert failure

19

What may provide long-term palliation for breathlessness?

Anti-cancer treatment, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy

20

What should be done if breathlessness does not have a reversible cause?

Combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions should be discussed and offered to the patient

21

What is the aim of palliation of breathlessness?

Change the experience and perception of breathlessness, rather than changing the underlying pathology

22

What pharmacological interventions may be useful in breathlessness?

- Opioids
- Anxiolytics
- Nebulised bronchodilators
- Oxygen

23

How do opioids help in breathlessness?

Reduce ventilatory demand

24

Who are opioids most beneficial to in breathlessness?

Those who are breathless at rest rather than on exertion

25

How can anxiolytics help in breathlessness?

Help patients better cope with breathlessness by reducing anxiety

26

What anxiolytics are recommended for breathlessness?

- Diazepam
- Lorazepam

27

When are anxiolytics recommended for breathlessness?

When anxiety is substantially aggravating the breathlessness

28

What bronchodilator may be helpful in breathlessness?

Salbutamol

29

How might salbutamol be helpful in breathlessness?

By causing bronchoconstriction

30

Describe the role of oxygen in the management of breathlessness

It is useful for correcting hypoxia, but breathlessness is not always related to hypoxia