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Emergency palliative care
  1. Rosa McNamara
  1. Emergency Department, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rosa McNamara, Emergency Department, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; rosamncamara{at}

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Emergency medicine (EM) is the front door for people in crisis and this remains true for those of all ages and for crises that are medical, psychological and social. We know that people use more healthcare including unscheduled care in their last years of life1 so it is predictable that patients with limited life expectancy will present to the ED in crisis.

Emergency practitioners previously expressed that the ED is not the place for people who are dying, and have sought local solutions that expedited admission for those thought to be close to death.2 3 The last 1000 days philosophy4 has highlighted care delivery around patient-centred goals in those with limited life expectancy, prompting the question—if this person has a limited number of days left to live how can I help them to best use this valuable time? Is admission the only option to achieve this person’s goals of care? What do I need to do to get this patient to where they want to be?

Training in palliative care for EM has in the past been limited; while most clinical staff are well versed in how to manage death following …

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  • Contributors RM is the sole author.

  • Funding The author has not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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