Description: This is a comprehensive review of the management of patients with kidney disease at the end of their life.
Purpose: The goal is to provide a reference for management of complex issues surrounding the end of life associated with kidney failure, and this second edition updates existing guidelines.
Audience: This is a resource for nephrologists, hospitalists, and palliative care team members. It also could be used by training physicians and medical staff interested in end of life issues. The authors include a renal physician, a palliative care physician, and a nurse working on a PhD in renal palliative care.
Features: The book begins with basic information about renal patients at the end of life, detailing symptoms that can be expected and their management. It also provides practical information to help improve communication with patients and their families. Ethical and legal considerations are also addressed before a detailed chapter on end of life care. The format makes the book easy to read and the short summaries are useful for management options. The drug guidelines are very helpful and easy to follow.
Assessment: Caring for a dying patient can be challenging, and this resource addresses very specific issues in dealing with end stage kidney disease patients. The case examples are helpful, and the overall design is practical and easy to read. While the book is small, I don't think I would carry it around during my daily practice, and perhaps a larger book would make the figures and diagrams easier to see. Discussion of the management of other end stage diseases, such as cirrhosis, which typically lead to end stage renal disease, would have been helpful. Although renal disease is secondary to a separate end stage disease, the patients generally die from their renal complications. I would recommend this for training nephrologists and palliative care team members.