End of life questions - page 2

Just lately, I've had an odd run of "comfort care" patients (end-of-life, palliative care) and I've run into a couple of issues that concern me. In particular, a dying patient's family told me that... Read More

  1. by   nursemike
    Many thanks. As I said, I do trust the doctors I work with, but it's good to see their judgements confirmed. After some thought, it occurs to me that there was no reason to believe the pt would immediately suffocate without the trach, since he still had his oral/nasal airway. I think the trach and PEG were done when there was still a glimmer of hope.
    The few other such patients I've had didn't show nearly as much dehydration, but all were elderly. Unfortunately, this one was much younger. It's hard enough to watch someone my age care for a dying parent, but to see them care for a dying (adult) child shouldn't happen.
    I'm a little surprised by the advice on suction, since I have previously been taught to due suction, even OT suction. So far, I've managed by heeding the wishes of the families, who've generally preferred not to have it, or at least not too often. I'm a little leery of too frequent suction even on patients who are expected to live. I know it's necessary, but I think we sometimes get a little too aggressive with it.