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End of Life Care and Advanced Care Planning

May 03, 2021


Commencement of End of Life Care within the Emergency Department includes discussion of End of life goals , wishes & Advanced Care planning. Emergency Department staff should access the End of Life Care QRG for further information.

Alignment to Western Health Best Care Framework:

Right Care & Person-Centred Care

Why is this important:

It is often difficult to predict when a person will die. A number of terms are used to describe this period, including actively dying, terminal phase or last days or hours of life. Triggers that may indicate a person has entered this phase are:

  • Ongoing deterioration despite optimal clinical care
  • Increasing difficulty swallowing or taking oral medications
  • Increasing disinterest in food or fluid
  • Profound weakness, decrease in function and being bed bound
  • Drowsiness or sleeping for extended periods of time.

What does this look like in practice?

  • Commence management of dying patient chart & checklist.
  • Symptom observation & management.
  • Breakthrough medications subcutaneously or syringe driver commenced.
  • Regular personal care needs & repositioning.
  • Family & patient education & support.
  • Air mattress.
  • Resuscitation plan completed
  • Ceased unnecessary monitoring & medications.
  • Contact pastoral care if requested.
  • Purple life tree picture outside of patients room.


  • Percentage of patients with completed Management of Dying Patient chart
  • Feedback
  • Riskman


End of Life Care