• News

"Palliative Care Specialists Can Reduce Your Pain And Speed Healing" - Lisa Haney

  • AARP News
  • New York, NY
  • (September 11, 2018)

David Griffiths couldn’t breathe. The 69-year-old cinematographer had been losing his voice for months. Then, one night last summer, he woke up gasping for breath. The next day at the Mount Sinai Hospital, an ENT doctor probed Griffiths’ throat and discovered a huge white tumor wrapped around his larynx. Doctors rushed Griffiths into surgery to place a breathing tube in his throat and, over the next few days, inserted a feeding tube in his stomach and a port in his shoulder for delivering medication. Griffiths would need five kinds of chemotherapy, plus radiation, to shrink the tumor and kill the cancer.  Unlike most people who enter the hospital with a severe illness, Griffiths had a secret source of strength: the Mount Sinai palliative care team. Comprising a specially trained doctor, nurses and other practitioners, the team helped Griffiths deal with the pain, stress and logistics of his treatment. “Why should you have to be dying to have somebody focus on your quality of life?” asks R. Sean Morrison, MD, chair of the department of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “People who get palliative care feel better; avoid preventable 911 calls, ER visits and hospitalizations; and stay independent and in better control at home,” said Diane Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care at Mount Sinai. “They have someone who can help if a crisis arises in the middle of the night.”

- R. Sean Morrison, MD, Professor, Chair, Ellen and Howard C. Katz, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

- Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, Professor, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Medicine, Vice Chair, Public Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care

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