Palliative Care

Palliative Care

Palliative care is medical care focused on relief of the pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness - whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to help people live comfortably and to provide the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.
Palliative Care - Closeup of people holding hands

How Palliative Care at El Camino Hospital Can Help

When you are on the front lines of an illness, you need answers, relief, expertise, and support. Our team includes a physician, nurses, a medical social worker and a chaplain to make sure that all your concerns are addressed.

Working closely with your medical team, we provide:

  • Expert treatment of pain and symptoms
  • Close communication and compassionate care
  • Assistance in navigating the healthcare system
  • Guidance with difficult treatment choices
  • Inpatient and outpatient care
  • Emotional and spiritual support for you and your family
  • Detailed practical information and assistance

What to Expect from Palliative Care

  • Relief from distressing symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping
  • Improved ability to carry on with your daily life
  • Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments
  • Better understanding of your medical condition and your choices for medical care
  • Assistance with advance care planning and determining choices for care
  • Support for family members

When the Time is Right for Palliative Care

Palliative care helps through all stages of illness. It is best if introduced early in your care, and if provided in conjunction with other medical treatments aimed to cure your disease.

Palliative Care vs. Hospice Care

Palliative care and hospice care differ in that hospice care is meant specifically for those approaching the last stages of life, while palliative care is appropriate for any stage of a serious illness.

How to Get Palliative Care

To begin palliative care, please ask your physician for a referral. We can help you during your hospital stay or after being discharged.

Where to Get More Information

Call the El Camino Hospital palliative care team at 650-988-7624 or email us at

Additional Resources

The following websites provide further information about palliative care:

Talk to Someone

Inquire about services or get a physician referral. Our call-back and chat services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.