I was always under the assumption a pt with cheyene stokes is considered to be entering the last phases of dying. I had a pt today who had a "large" brainstem hemorrhage, expected to pass. This is on a med surg/CVA floor. He was a DNR/comfort care, and after he was made comfort care, he was transferred from ICU to my unit.
He had labored breathing this morning along with the "death rattle", lungs sounded very very congested. I suctioned him as best I could, but didnt get much up - wife also requested we keep him as comfortable as possible , so I didnt want to harass him with suction too much.
Towards the end of my shift, he had cheyne stokes resp. Also on a morphine drip - could the morphine be causing this or is it death taking over?
I couldnt tell if he was mottling really b/c he has severe PVD and his legs are very dark anyway.
How long before death do you see cheyene stokes? My charge today said she had a pt who had cheyene stokes for 13 days before he passed! I never thought it would be that long