Tag: Lethargy

Articles about lethargy commonly experienced by the terminally ill towards the end-of-life.

Significant Signs a Terminally Ill Patient may be Close to Dying

Signs of imminent death
There are typical visible/audible signs that a person may have less than two weeks to live. There are times when we are so close to someone, we may miss the forest for the trees. Please allow me to go over some significant signs that a person with a terminal illness may have two weeks or less to live. If there is sudden onset, within the past 24-hours, any of the following signs and symptoms, please do an evaluation for end-of-life determination as soon as possible (family members seeing these signs should reach out to their hospice provider's 24x7 number):
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Drowsiness vs Lethargy vs Obtunded

Altered Level Of Consciousness
As a hospice registered nurse case manager, you will encounter patients who experience various degrees of altered consciousness. It is essential to understand the difference between drowsiness, lethargy, and obtundation, as they can indicate different underlying medical conditions and require different interventions. For example, drowsiness is common and often expected, but lethargy and obtundation are more profound changes of condition which may mean the patient is closer to death than further way. Here’s a guide to help new hospice nurses distinguish between the three:
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