- End-stage renal failure or disease
- End-stage liver disease
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
- End-stage cardiac disease
- End-stage pulmonary disease
- Oxygen dependency
- Advance AIDS
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- End-stage Sickle Cell Disease
|Common Symptoms in End-of-Life Care|
|Symptom||How to provide comfort|
|Drowsiness||Plan visits and activities for times when the patient is most alert.|
|Becoming unresponsive||Many patients are still able to hear after they are no longer able to speak, so talk as if he or she can hear.|
|Confusion about time, place, identity of loved ones||Speak calmly to help re-orient the patient. Gently remind the patient of the time, date, and people who are with them.|
|Loss of appetite, decreased need for food and fluids||Let the patient choose if and when to eat or drink. Ice chips, water, or juice may be refreshing if the patient can swallow. Keep the patient's mouth and lips moist with products such as glycerin swabs and lip balm.|
|Loss of bladder or bowel control||Keep the patient as clean, dry, and comfortable as possible. Place disposable pads on the bed beneath the patient and remove them when they become soiled.|
|Skin becoming cool to the touch||Warm the patient with blankets but avoid electric blankets or heating pads, which can cause burns.|
|Labored, irregular, shallow, or noisy breathing||Breathing may be easier if the patient's body is turned to the side and pillows are placed beneath the head and behind the back. A cool mist humidifier may also help.|
|Source: National Cancer Institute|
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