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HealthInfo Canterbury

Heart failure end of life

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Sometimes people have severe heart failure that can't be made better and your doctor will suggest a palliative approach. This means that you will be kept comfortable and your symptoms will be treated. But you will not be given any life saving treatment unless you want it. Talk to your doctor about what you want and what treatments are available for you.

Discuss with your doctor and your family what you want to happen if you suddenly become unwell. Do you want to be admitted to hospital or do you want to be kept comfortable at home?

You might be given morphine or anti-anxiety tablets to keep you comfortable and help with breathlessness. Anxiety can be a problem and this can be helped, so it is important to talk about this. You may be able to receive extra help at home and some financial support.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by General Practitioner Liaison, Cardiology. Last reviewed December 2018.

See also:

Advance care planning

Palliative care

Financial support

Page reference: 117572

Review key: HIHFA-27478