Is this part of Palliative Care????


I need some advice. Would you consider things like fleet enemas and ear syringing necessary in Palliative Care? I ask because we have alot of new grads. One of our ladies has been Palliative Care for a couple months, she is extremely weak, barely eats or drinks, is awake and talking. She had a sore ear and now has the oil/syringing. Plus has been given supps/enemas as she is not going to the bathroom. I have a hard time with this. Just wondering how others feel.

nightmare, RN

2 Articles; 1,297 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology..

The point I think is,are these treatments bringing relief to this lady? If she is more comfortable because her ear hurts less and has more relief because her bowels have been cleared then yes it is worth it. I have seen people on palliative care bathed ,dressed and sat in chairs,so exhausted that they can bearly sit that I have difficulty with!!

You keep them comfortable - palliate. Not being in pain, be it from cancer or full bowels or old cerumen, is important.

clemmm78, RN

440 Posts

Has 25 years experience.

As the others have said, if it's to provide comfort, then of course it is appropriate. The point of palliative care is to help the person live the remaining time as comfortably as possible. Even if you are dying, you still need to move your bowels unless you have an obstruction. Imagine how it would feel to be uncomfortable from pain and also feel constipated.

aimeee, BSN, RN

932 Posts

There is a lot of difference of opinion about how aggressive to be with bowel movements for people who are in the last days/weeks of life. It is true that there isn't a lot of waste for people who are taking in much, but there is still some. The longer it sits there, the harder it gets, and the more discomfort it can produce. This is one of the nursing "art" just have to use all your senses to discern whether to take action on it or not.

As for the sore ear, whatever makes it more comfortable would be appropriate.

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