• Palliativbereich
  • Team des Palliativbereichs
  • Palliativbereich
  • Palliativbereich

Palliative Care Unit

Palliative medicine means the treatment of patients with an incurable progressive and terminal disease with limited life expectancy. The main goal of the treatment is to improve and maintain a quality of life to allow the patients to have a mostly symptom-free life. Many basic rules of palliative medicine can be helpful during the early stages of a disease. Palliative medicine does not only treat physical suffering, but also tends to mental and spiritual problems arising from an illness. Additionally, it offers help with social and practical questions.

In hospitalized palliative care the main purpose of treatment is to improve the quality of life and to decrease or remove symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath and fear that cannot be managed in an outpatient scenario anymore. Another focal point is a very well planned and prepared discharge of patients. If prolonged care at the home of the patient is not possible, a transfer to a care facility or hospice can be organized.

Highly-trained doctors (palliative care physicians / nutritional consultants) and nurses (palliative care nurses) are employed at the university medical center Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum. The palliative care unit holds 4 beds that are supervised by the medical clinic.


Admission criteria are:

  • A progressive and terminal diagnosis with limited life expectancy that is in need of a palliative treatment, including palliative nursing.
  • Relief of symptoms not manageable in an outpatient setting, such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, feeding problems, agitation and fear.
  • The patient understands and gives his/her consent that there are no curative therapy options left and that normal life prolonging procedures will not be performed. Life prolonging measures are only performed if they improve the patient’s quality of life.
  • A filled out patient decree, living will or health care proxy is desirable.
  • The patient and his relatives are informed that the stay at the palliative care ward is limited and a discharge to home or to an adequate facility will be organized after the patient’s symptoms are removed or stabilized.
  • Normally only adult patients are taken in.
Prof. Dr. Wolff Schmiegel
Prof. Dr. Wolff Schmiegel