San Pedro Peninsula Hospital in San Pedro will augment its 10-year-old hospice program of caring for terminally ill patients in their homes by opening a four-bed hospital unit for patients when they need acute care. The unit will be dedicated at 7:30 tonight.
Patients will be admitted when they are experiencing such things as uncontrollable pain or nausea, or when family members at home "need a rest," spokeswoman Laurie Blue Lundberg said. The average stay is expected to be three to five days.
The hospice program, which has served about 1,000 people since it began, provides physical, emotional and spiritual care for terminally ill people. Most have cancer or lung disease, but the program has served several patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome in the last year, Lundberg said.