Clin Surg | Volume 6, Issue 1 | Short Communication | Open Access

Rapid Expansion of Palliative Care Capacities during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic - A Single Center Experience as Blueprint for Current and Future Pandemics

Ivanyi P1,2*, Steffens S1,2,3, Ringshausen F4, Matthias K1, Meier K5, Proietto B5, Baier C6, Zimmermann T7, De Zwaan M7, Kahl KG8, Neitzke G9, Keller-Denke U10, Reuter CHR1, Hoeper M4,11, Wernstedt T1 and Ganser A1

1Department of Hematology, Hemostasis, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, Tumor Center and Palliative Care, Hannover Medical School, Germany
2Interdisciplinary Co-operative Immuno-oncology Group (ICOG-N) of Comprehensive Cancer Center Lower Saxoney (CCC-N), Hannover Medical School, Germany
3Medical Education and Education Research, Hannover Medical School, Germany
4Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hannover Medical School and Germany Centre of Lung Research (BREATH/DZL), Germany
5Nursing Section, Hannover Medical School, Germany
6Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hospital Epidemiology, Hannover Medical School, Germany
7Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Germany
8Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Germany
9Institute for Medical Ethics, History, and Philosophy of Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Germany
10Hospital Church, Hannover Medical School, Hannover Medical School, Germany
11COVID-19-Task-Force, Hannover Medical School, Germany

*Correspondance to: Philipp Ivanyi 

Fulltext PDF


Introduction: Data on expansion strategies of palliative care capacities during pandemic is scarce. Here, we report on rapid expansion of in-hospital palliative care capacities for terminally ill patients with COVID-19 in a large tertiary hospital. Material and Methods: Organization of a new palliative ward within 96 h. Key focus of necessary palliative implementations were identified by a structured panel discussion. A multiprofessional palliative team organized and supported a new palliative care team. Both of them were in charge for expanded in-house palliative care capacities. Results: High-level in-house palliative capacities were expanded by a newly established multiprofessional Palliative Organizing Team (POT), and Palliative Care Team (PCT). Within 96 h in-house palliative care capacities were expanded from a palliative care ward with 7 beds up to 15 beds, being prepared to further expand up to 33 beds. The POT identified 4 urgent subject areas and implemented solutions. Topics were general logistics, staff-directed palliative care plans, as well as communication directed topics (for patients and relatives). An ongoing education system and ITsystem was implemented for potential additional staff expansion. Discussion/Conclusion: The presented strategy might function as a blueprint for other medical centers during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Further on, our strategy might ensure rapid expansion of palliative care capacities within a short period of time during the still ongoing pandemic, or future pandemics.


Ivanyi P, Steffens S, Ringshausen F, Matthias K, Meier K, Proietto B, et al. Rapid Expansion of Palliative Care Capacities during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic - A Single Center Experience as Blueprint for Current and Future Pandemics. Clin Surg. 2021; 6: 3313.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter