1. Meixner, Emily

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To the Editor:


I read with great interest the article "Palliative Care and the Acute Stroke Patient" by Creutzfeldt from the May/June issue. This article discussed the palliative care of patients who have had an acute stroke. Dr Creutzfeldt successfully explained the components of an acute stroke, including treatment and symptom management. I thoroughly enjoyed reading what she had to say and felt that she explained her ideas well. I believe that more should have been said about the communication techniques used among patients, their families, and the medical staff. This concept in nursing can never be discussed enough. Communication is an important factor in patient care. Addington-Hall et al1 support ideas made by conducting research on stroke patients and the communication between families and healthcare personnel. This research consisted of 237 persons who had died of a stroke. The family members and friends of those who had died stated that 65% of those patients experienced some sort of pain. It was also stated that 51% of patients treated by hospital physicians reported not having received any to very little pain relief.1 Giving the patient the opportunity to talk not only with their family but also with their primary caregiver can help to decrease their occurrence of pain. In the future, including more information about communication techniques will further explain the importance of proper palliative care and stroke victims. Once again, I did enjoy reading this article and found it very informative for those looking to work in palliative care.


Emily J. Meixner


Nursing Student


Saint Anthony


College of Nursing


Rockford, IL




1. Addington-Hall J, Lay M, Altmann D, McCarthy M. Symptom control, communication with health professionals, and hospital care of stroke patients in the last year of life as reported by surviving family, friends, and officials. Stroke. 1995;26(12):2242-2248. [Context Link]