Tag: Shortness of Breath

Articles about managing shortness of breath, dyspnea, in the terminally ill.

Managing Shortness of Breath in Hospice Care: Non-Pharmacological Methods for Comfort

Using A Small Fan To Help Reduce Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a common symptom that affects many patients in hospice care. It can make breathing difficult and uncomfortable, and cause anxiety and distress. As a hospice nurse, I know how hard it can be to see your loved one's struggle with breathlessness. That’s why I want to share with you some non-pharmacological methods that can help ease their breathing and improve their comfort. Non-pharmacological methods are techniques that do not involve taking any medicine. They are safe, easy, and effective ways to manage shortness of breath. They can also help patients feel more relaxed and calmer and improve their quality of life. In this article, I will explain five non-pharmacological methods that have worked well for many hospice patients.
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How to Use Pursed Lip Breathing to Manage Shortness of Breath

Pursed Lip Breathing
Dealing with shortness of breath can be challenging for terminally ill patients, but there are techniques that can help manage this symptom and improve their overall comfort. One such technique is pursed lip breathing. Pursed lip breathing is a simple and effective breathing technique that can help reduce shortness of breath and improve oxygen exchange in the lungs. As an experienced hospice nurse with years of experience, I will guide you through the steps of pursed lip breathing in a compassionate and easy-to-understand manner.
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Should dying patients be on oxygen?

I have cared for many terminally ill patients over the years. One question that comes up frequently is should the dying patient be on oxygen at the end of life? I see it from both sides, from hospice intake personnel as well as the admitting nurse — all had it drilled into them over the years that low oxygen saturation must be treated — to families who see how hospital and nursing home staff rush to put someone on oxygen because of low oxygen saturation. Contrary to widespread belief, most dying patients do not need oxygen. Here’s why:
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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.
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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 properly. Air hunger is exceedingly rare in my firsthand experiences, but it can happen.
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