Chennai: Lalithaambal (name changed), 70, a terminally ill cervical cancer patient suffered at the hands of her family of four. Her diapers were not changed for two weeks and the septuagenarian developed severe bed sore due to unhygienic conditions.
On coming to know about her pathetic condition from neighbours, members of Chennai Pain and Palliative Care rushed to her place, gave her a bath and changed her diapers. Posing like a little girl, Lalithaambal wore a thankful smile and blessed the members. She died four hours later and the smile on her face remained till the last minute.
As more than 60 per cent of cancer cases are detected during the advanced stages, failure of treatment is common. It is estimated that more than 25 per cent of terminally ill patients die in the first year after not responding to treatment. Unfortunately, the city do not embrace dedicated palliative care centres and the demarcation between regular and palliative treatment is a mostly an absence.
Chennai Pain and Palliative Care, which is now associated with Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital had been treating cancer patients since 2014. One of the members, Preetha Mahesh told DC that care includes treating the pain and counselling patients and family members. The team of 30 is working on different localities in the city to identify and treat patients. Chennai Pain and Palliative Care is located at Room no 20, 1st floor, Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital. They can be contacted at 9841313433.