Category: Medications

Medications used for symptom management or otherwise

Methadone: A Compassionate Approach to Managing Terminal Pain

This article delves into the advantages of Methadone over Morphine for pain management in hospice settings. It covers dosage, titration, side effects, and scenarios where Methadone may not be the best choice. Ideal for hospice professionals and caregivers seeking compassionate pain relief options for the terminally ill.
Read MoreMethadone: A Compassionate Approach to Managing Terminal Pain

Best Practices for Managing Hallucinations

Flow Chart For Managing Hallucinations And Delusions
As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand the challenges faced by terminally ill patients and their families when dealing with hallucinations, especially in conditions like Lewy Body Dementia, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Hallucinations can be distressing and confusing for patients and their loved ones. Still, with the right approach and a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods, we can help manage these symptoms to improve comfort and quality of life.
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Managing Terminal Restlessness

Exhausted Patient From Restlessness
Losing a loved one is an incredibly challenging experience, and witnessing changes in their behavior and well-being can be distressing. As a hospice nurse, I've supported many families and caregivers through this grim time. One common symptom that may arise towards the end of life is restlessness. In this article, I will explain the different types of restlessness and offer guidance on how to manage them. Understanding these distinctions can provide valuable insights into your loved one's condition and help you navigate the final stages of their life with compassion and care.
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Understanding the Decline of Terminally Ill Loved Ones: Medications vs. Disease Processes

Illness Trajectories And Palliative Care
When a loved one is terminally ill, it can be a perplexing and emotional journey. Understanding the root cause of their declining health becomes paramount. It's a complex puzzle where family members often grapple with questions: Are the symptoms a result of medications prescribed, or are they intrinsic to the terminal disease? This article delves into the critical distinctions between medication side effects and the natural progression of terminal illnesses, offering insights to empower families and caregivers in making informed decisions about their loved one's care.
Read MoreUnderstanding the Decline of Terminally Ill Loved Ones: Medications vs. Disease Processes

Early Detection of Serotonin Syndrome in Dementia Patients: Three Case Studies

diagnosing serotonin syndrome
Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by an excess of serotonin in the body. Detecting this condition early is crucial, but it can be particularly challenging when dealing with dementia patients due to communication barriers and the complexity of their symptoms. In this article, we will present three case studies that highlight the early detection and successful management of serotonin syndrome in patients with different types of dementia: Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, and Lewy Body Dementia.
Read MoreEarly Detection of Serotonin Syndrome in Dementia Patients: Three Case Studies

Understanding Serotonin Syndrome: A Comprehensive Guide

clinical presentation of serotonin syndrome
Hospice nurses assess the status of the patient's journey towards the end of life every nursing visit. Situations where a reversible condition can drastically impact the patient and the hospice assessment can occur. If it is not caught, it is potentially mistreated, leading to increased discomfort and a faster death, often involving increased suffering. One of the common clues that someone is getting closer to dying is increased agitation and restlessness. Are you aware of Serotonin Syndrome?
Read MoreUnderstanding Serotonin Syndrome: A Comprehensive Guide

Presentation: Death, Dying, and Comfort Medications in Hospice Care

As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand that working in hospice care can be emotionally and physically challenging. In this presentation, I will share my knowledge and expertise on the topics of death and dying, as well as comfort medications including morphine, to help guide you in providing the best care for your patients.
Read MorePresentation: Death, Dying, and Comfort Medications in Hospice Care

Recognizing and Treating Common End of Life Symptoms

Guide to Recognize and Treat Common End of Life Symptoms provides tips on managing symptoms experienced by those at the end of their lives - Topics such as pain, shortness of breath, respiratory distress, and anxiety, and provides suggestions for medications and complementary therapies to help manage these symptoms.
Read MoreRecognizing and Treating Common End of Life Symptoms

Morphine and Lorazepam are not euthanizing agents

Morphine and Lorazepam do not hasten death
As a hospice nurse with years of experience, I have encountered many situations where family members are hesitant to allow their loved ones to receive medications such as morphine and lorazepam. One of the main reasons for this hesitancy is the belief that these medications will hasten death, leading to euthanasia. In this article, I want to address this concern and help family members and friends understand the use of morphine and lorazepam in hospice care.
Read MoreMorphine and Lorazepam are not euthanizing agents

Understanding Hospice Comfort Medications

As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand the challenges that terminally ill patients and their families face. One of the biggest challenges is managing symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and nausea. Hospice comfort medications can help provide relief and improve the quality of life for patients in their final days. In this article, we will discuss some of the most used hospice comfort medications and when they might be used for comfort.
Read MoreUnderstanding Hospice Comfort Medications

Understanding PRN Medications for Comfort Care

Hey there, my friend! As an experienced hospice nurse, I understand that managing symptoms for comfort is crucial for terminally ill patients. One of the ways we do this is through PRN medications. Today, I want to help you understand PRN medications and how they can be used in conjunction with scheduled medications.
Read MoreUnderstanding PRN Medications for Comfort Care

Air hunger management at end-of-life

I can count the times I’ve run into air hunger at the end of life as a visiting RN Case Manager for going on five years on one hand. Over the years, I’ve managed patients with pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancers (diverse types), breast cancer, COPD, congestive heart failure, B-cell lymphoma, leukemia, and other diseases that can impact one person’s ability to breathe correctly. Air hunger is rare in my firsthand experiences, but it can happen. Air hunger often sounds like the person is gasping for breath without regard to the actual respiratory rate (how fast they are breathing); it can also sound like stridor (YouTube videos below where you can hear the difference).
Read MoreAir hunger management at end-of-life

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