HELP......I'm having a "dumb" moment! - page 2

I feel like a total goof for having to ask this but tonight neither myself or another nurse could remember the proper term for "death rattles". It was a very high pressure night so maybe our brains... Read More

  1. by   Jen911
    Do you mean Stridrorous? Stertorous? One of those? Both of those are noisy.... Stertorous is more imminent of death.
  2. by   JeannieM
    Coarse, audible ronchi noted. And if possible, please Yaenkeur suction the poor patient; I'd hate to "rattle" my way out of the world with mucous in the back of my throat that I couldn't clear. Yuk! :stone
  3. by   P_RN

    In the American Academy of Family Physicians site, the indicators of probable death within 14 days includes
    Pooled oropharyngeal secretions (death rattle)

    That's pretty straightforward. What bothers me is that last exhalation when you turn the expired patient. Eerie.
  4. by   fedupnurse
    P-RN, I always warn the families about the "last breath". It is freaky though! I've seen people dead for minutes and they finally do that last exhale.
    Since we are on the topic of death, I just drove by a local funeral home. Building has to be at least 100 years old. They are tearing it down to put up a bank. Wonder if the staff at the bank will be hearing any death rattles from all the ghosts that have got to be there!
  5. by   betts
    Abnormal sounds include the absence of sound and the presence of bronchial or bronchovesicular sounds in the peripheral areas where you should hear only vesicular sounds. Possible causes for abnormalities include consolidation of secretions in the airways, compression of an airway by a mass, and the presence of a pleural effusion.

    If you don't find a particular breath sound where you expect to hear it, the airway may be occluded, all or part of a lung may be collapsed (as in pneumothorax), or the patient may have a large effusion that compresses the alveoli.

    Adventitious lung sounds--crackles and wheezes--are abnormal sounds heard over normal lung sounds. Crackles are discrete sounds that may resemble static or the sound made by rubbing a few strands of hair together close to your ear. Caused by atelectasis or fluid in the small airways, they may be audible on inspiration or expiration. Crackles that don't clear with coughing are more significant and may indicate pulmonary edema or fluid in the alveoli because of heart failure or acute respiratory distress syndrome. The more widespread the crackles, the more likely they're related to a serious problem.
    Detection of crackles is facilitated when patients take slow, deep breaths that generate little breath sounds.

    Crackles can also be described, as fine, medium, and coarse.

    * You'll hear fine crackles in end inspiration or early expiration.

    * Medium crackles are louder and more widespread and may sound moist.

    * Coarse crackles are loud; you typically hear them in early inspiration or during expiration.
  6. by   Dayray
    I have ben told by my nursing instructors that there is no "official" name for death rattle. But that doesent mean there isent one.
  7. by   I1tobern
    According to my A & P book, death rattle is also known as Cheynes-Stokes.
  8. by   teamrn
    I used to work as a case managing RN in hospice. We used no official 'term' for this well known 'rattle' when death was near; rather, we'd explain to the family that the patient wasn't experiencing suffering as long as his oxygenation status was not compromised. If O2 was compromised, we ordered O2, and a scopolamine patch also helped dry the secretions, so family members were not as distressed.

    Respirations at this time were also often irregular, and I found that teaching the family the meaning behind all this, worked more than the agonal/ cheynes-stokes terms. But I brought them out if they were necessary.
  9. by   duckie
    You have all been very helpful, as usual, and I did just describe what I heard as I really hated to use that term. Sounds so cold to me. Thanks a bunch, I don't feel quite so dumb now! HUGS!!!!
  10. by   fedupnurse
    Duckie, not so fast! Did you ever find out the technical term for Death Dump????
  11. by   teeituptom
    Howdy yall
    From deep in the heart of texas

    Is this a little morbid???????????

    keep it in the short grass yall

  12. by   SmBaxter
    I have only heard Death Rattle, Cheyne-stokes breathing or agonal breathing. Suction, please or sc scopolomine! Unfortunately, I've heard a lot of that! I work Oncology/ Palliative/Med-Surg.