How should I manage dyspnoea of known cause in palliative care?
• In all cases: • Consider simple measures to relieve dyspnoea. • Consider symptomatic treatment if appropriate. See Scenario: Symptomatic treatment. • With the person and their carers and family, determine what management interventions are appropriate for the underlying cause of the dyspnoea and the stage of illness. These may include: • Treatment of reversible causes in primary care, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). • Referral for treatment of the underlying cancer if needed (e.g. radiotherapy to a tumour, drainage of a pleural effusion). • Referral if the cause of dyspnoea is not directly related to the underlying cancer but is more appropriately managed in secondary care (e.g. worsening COPD). • Emergency treatment or admission to hospital (e.g. acute airway obstruction due to tumour or superior vena cava obstruction). • If in doubt as to whether treatment of the underlying illness is appropriate, seek specialist advice. • For immediate emergency mana