This paper is also being undertaken in order to assess the appropriateness of the application of this kit using the current literature on this kit. This assessment of literature will hopefully shed light to the evidence-based application of this kit and hopefully make a credible evaluation of the actual application of the Symptom Response Kit.
The Symptom Response Kit is described by the South West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC, 2009, p. 1) as “a kit of medications that can be ordered by a physician, to be available in a client’s home to relieve potential symptoms for clients requiring hospice palliative care services or who are at the end of life stage in their disease management”. In the most basic sense, this kit is a reserve kit which can be used in case unanticipated symptoms of a long-term care patient would surface. The kit contains emergency medical supplies previously approved or prescribed by the patient’s doctor in anticipation of probable symptoms of the patient’s illness. It contains limited amounts of a few medications which have been deemed effective in addressing the usual symptoms of distress in clients who are at the end of their lives (Matzon & Sherman, 2006). The kit is “solely for the purpose of alleviating unanticipated symptoms, to avoid unnecessary hospital/ER admission or until a regular prescription can be obtained” (CACC, 2009, p. 1). This kit acts as an interim remedy for the patient in order to prevent further deterioration while a more comprehensive consultation with the doctor is being scheduled.
Symptom relief kits or emergency kits are set-up in order to address the “need to have appropriate medications readily available in the home, extended care facility, or hospital” (Matzon & Sherman, 2006, p. 322). Among palliative health care givers, there is no specific timing where the dying process can be predicted,