What we know
A crisis or an emergency in palliative care is a sudden deterioration in a person’s condition which requires an urgent response. The response to a crisis towards the end of life will depend on the person’s overall condition, his/her wishes or those of the appointed substitute decision maker(s). Pre-emptive end-of-life care discussions can ensure care is delivered in line with a person’s wishes including what to do in an emergency. These discussions may also be helpful in putting appropriate supports in place. Anticipatory prescribing may allow prompt symptom relief and avoid distress or a crisis.