End of life care month: all about just in case medication

RRV with blurred paramedic

“Many more palliative or end of life patients are being cared for at home for their final days, with the express wishes to remain at home. As part of their end of life care plan they may have ‘anticipatory’ or ‘just in case’ medications.” (UK Ambulance Services Clinical Practice Guidelines 2016).

 Just in case medications: it’s a difficult subject within an already sensitive subject.

These drugs are prescribed by either a GP or an independent prescriber specifically for the patient, and are usually available at the patient’s home.

Following a thorough assessment, paramedics can administer these medications if required and available, when attending a patient on an end of life pathway or under a palliative care team, and providing a criteria is met.

We’ve put together some guidance on these just in case medications, when paramedics can give out these drugs, common drugs and actions that could help alleviate a patient’s pain.

This document is available on East24.

If you unsure and require some help, please call the clinical advice line on 07753 950843 for support.

Published 25th April, 2017

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