Poster Presentation Palliative Care Nurses Australia Conference 2020

Dying to get home- exploring the complex challenges of getting dying patients overseas. A case series (#109)

Linda Magann 1 , Monita Mesuria 1
  1. St George Hosptial, Kogarah, NSW, Australia

Introduction Over 50 % of Australians wish to die in their own home. This is often complex in itself due to a variety of barriers and challenges. Getting patients overseas who have a prognosis of days to a short amount of weeks is more difficult still. Uncertainty regarding palliative care supports in the patient’s own country and how to access these services and source medications including oxygen adds to the challenge.

Method Multiple barriers exist which need to be overcome to achieve the patients dying wish to travel home to another country. At St George Hospital in Sydney in the period from April 2019 to January 2020 3 patients returned home to Fiji, Bangladesh and mainland China for end of life care with their families.This process involved navigating medical clearance, organising flights, the difficulty getting to the flight itself, challenges around finances and medications as well as the education of family and friends traveling with the dying patient. Multiple barriers need to be acknowledged and overcome. One of the main challenges being the provision of medication in countries that do not routinely stock the same medications we use

Outcomes Of the 3 patients who returned home, 2 died within 4 days and 1 patient lived a month. Without the passion and determination of the multidisciplinary team in particular palliative care and social work this would not have been possible. Our challenges show how much work still needs to be done to improve access to palliative care as an international human right for all.