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The EPEC-O Curriculum is produced by the EPEC TM Project with major funding provided by NCI, with supplemental funding provided by the Lance Armstrong.

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Presentation on theme: "The EPEC-O Curriculum is produced by the EPEC TM Project with major funding provided by NCI, with supplemental funding provided by the Lance Armstrong."— Presentation transcript:

1 The EPEC-O Curriculum is produced by the EPEC TM Project with major funding provided by NCI, with supplemental funding provided by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care - Oncology The Project EPEC-O TM

2 EPECEPECOOEPECEPECOOO EPECEPECOOEPECEPECOOO Module 6 Last Hours of Living Module 6 Last Hours of Living EPEC – Oncology Education in Palliative and End-of-life Care - Oncology

3 Overall message Care in last hours is as important as at any other time in cancer care

4 Objectives l Prepare, support the patient, family, caregivers l Assess, manage the pathophysiological changes of dying l Pronounce a death and notify the family l Prepare, support the patient, family, caregivers l Assess, manage the pathophysiological changes of dying l Pronounce a death and notify the family

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6 Last hours of living l Everyone will die < 10% suddenly > 90% prolonged illness l Unique opportunities and risks l Little experience with death Exaggerated sense of dying process l Everyone will die < 10% suddenly > 90% prolonged illness l Unique opportunities and risks l Little experience with death Exaggerated sense of dying process

7 Preparing for the last hours of life... l Time course unpredictable l Any setting that permits privacy, intimacy l Anticipate need for medications, equipment, supplies l Regularly review the plan of care l Time course unpredictable l Any setting that permits privacy, intimacy l Anticipate need for medications, equipment, supplies l Regularly review the plan of care

8 ... Preparing for the last hours of life l Caregivers Awareness of patient choices Knowledgeable, skilled, confident Rapid response l Likely events, signs, symptoms of the dying process l Caregivers Awareness of patient choices Knowledgeable, skilled, confident Rapid response l Likely events, signs, symptoms of the dying process

9 Physiological changes during the dying process l Increasing weakness, fatigue l Cutaneous ischemia l Decreasing appetite / fluid intake l Cardiac, renal dysfunction l Neurological dysfunction l Pain l Loss of ability to close eyes l Increasing weakness, fatigue l Cutaneous ischemia l Decreasing appetite / fluid intake l Cardiac, renal dysfunction l Neurological dysfunction l Pain l Loss of ability to close eyes

10 Weakness / fatigue l Decreased ability to move l Joint position fatigue l Increased risk of pressure ulcers l Increased need for care Activities of daily living Turning, movement, massage l Decreased ability to move l Joint position fatigue l Increased risk of pressure ulcers l Increased need for care Activities of daily living Turning, movement, massage

11 Decreasing appetite / food intake l Fears: ‘giving in’, starvation l Reminders Food may be nauseating Anorexia may be protective Risk of aspiration Clenched teeth express desires, control l Help family find alternative ways to care l Fears: ‘giving in’, starvation l Reminders Food may be nauseating Anorexia may be protective Risk of aspiration Clenched teeth express desires, control l Help family find alternative ways to care

12 Decreasing fluid intake... l Oral rehydrating fluids l Fears: dehydration, thirst l Remind families, caregivers Dehydration does not cause distress Dehydration may be protective l Oral rehydrating fluids l Fears: dehydration, thirst l Remind families, caregivers Dehydration does not cause distress Dehydration may be protective

13 ... Decreasing fluid intake l Parenteral fluids may be harmful Fluid overload, breathlessness, cough, secretions l Mucosa / conjunctiva care l Parenteral fluids may be harmful Fluid overload, breathlessness, cough, secretions l Mucosa / conjunctiva care

14 Cardiac, renal dysfunction l Tachycardia, hypotension l Peripheral cooling, cyanosis l Mottling of skin l Diminished urine output l Parenteral fluids will not reverse l Tachycardia, hypotension l Peripheral cooling, cyanosis l Mottling of skin l Diminished urine output l Parenteral fluids will not reverse

15 Neurological dysfunction l Decreasing level of consciousness l Communication with the unconscious patient l Terminal delirium l Changes in respiration l Loss of ability to swallow, sphincter control l Decreasing level of consciousness l Communication with the unconscious patient l Terminal delirium l Changes in respiration l Loss of ability to swallow, sphincter control

16 Two roads to death Restless Confused Tremulous Hallucinations Mumbling Delirium Myoclonic Jerks Sleepy Lethargic Obtunded Semicomatose Comatose Seizures THE USUAL ROAD THE DIFFICULT ROAD Normal Dead

17 Decreasing level of consciousness l ‘The usual road to death’ l Progression l Eyelash reflex l ‘The usual road to death’ l Progression l Eyelash reflex

18 Communication with the unconscious patient... l Distressing to family l Awareness > ability to respond l Assume patient hears everything l Distressing to family l Awareness > ability to respond l Assume patient hears everything

19 ... Communication with the unconscious patient l Create familiar environment l Include in conversations Assure of presence, safety l Give permission to die l Touch l Create familiar environment l Include in conversations Assure of presence, safety l Give permission to die l Touch

20 Terminal delirium l ‘The difficult road to death’ l Medical management Benzodiazepines Lorazepam, midazolam Neuroleptics Haloperidol, chlorpromazine l Seizures l Family needs support, education l ‘The difficult road to death’ l Medical management Benzodiazepines Lorazepam, midazolam Neuroleptics Haloperidol, chlorpromazine l Seizures l Family needs support, education

21 Changes in respiration... l Altered breathing patterns Diminishing tidal volume Apnea Cheyne-Stokes respirations Accessory muscle use Last reflex breaths l Altered breathing patterns Diminishing tidal volume Apnea Cheyne-Stokes respirations Accessory muscle use Last reflex breaths

22 ... Changes in respiration l Fears Suffocation l Management Family support Oxygen may prolong dying process Breathlessness l Fears Suffocation l Management Family support Oxygen may prolong dying process Breathlessness

23 Loss of ability to swallow l Loss of gag reflex l Build-up of saliva, secretions Scopolamine to dry secretions Postural drainage PositioningSuctioning l Loss of gag reflex l Build-up of saliva, secretions Scopolamine to dry secretions Postural drainage PositioningSuctioning

24 Loss of sphincter control l Incontinence of urine, stool l Family needs knowledge, support l Cleaning, skin care l Urinary catheters l Absorbent pads, surfaces l Incontinence of urine, stool l Family needs knowledge, support l Cleaning, skin care l Urinary catheters l Absorbent pads, surfaces

25 Pain in the last hours of life... l Fear of increased pain l Assessment of the unconscious patient Persistent vs. fleeting expression Grimace or physiologic signs Incident vs. rest pain Distinction from terminal delirium l Fear of increased pain l Assessment of the unconscious patient Persistent vs. fleeting expression Grimace or physiologic signs Incident vs. rest pain Distinction from terminal delirium

26 ... Pain in the last hours of life l Management when no urine output Stop routine dosing, infusions of morphine Breakthrough dosing as needed (PRN) Least invasive route of administration l Management when no urine output Stop routine dosing, infusions of morphine Breakthrough dosing as needed (PRN) Least invasive route of administration

27 Loss of ability to close eyes l Loss of retro-orbital fat pad l Insufficient eyelid length l Conjunctival exposure Increased risk of dryness, pain Maintain moisture l Loss of retro-orbital fat pad l Insufficient eyelid length l Conjunctival exposure Increased risk of dryness, pain Maintain moisture

28 Medications l Limit to essential medications l Choose less invasive route of administration Buccal mucosal or oral first, then consider rectal Subcutaneous, intravenous rarely Intramuscular almost never l Limit to essential medications l Choose less invasive route of administration Buccal mucosal or oral first, then consider rectal Subcutaneous, intravenous rarely Intramuscular almost never

29 Dying in institutions l Home-like environment Permit privacy, intimacy Personal things, photos l Continuity of care plans l Avoid abrupt changes of settings l Consider a specialized unit l Home-like environment Permit privacy, intimacy Personal things, photos l Continuity of care plans l Avoid abrupt changes of settings l Consider a specialized unit

30 Signs that death has occurred... l Absence of heartbeat, respirations l Pupils fixed l Color turns to a waxen pallor as blood settles l Body temperature drops l Absence of heartbeat, respirations l Pupils fixed l Color turns to a waxen pallor as blood settles l Body temperature drops

31 ... Signs that death has occurred l Muscles, sphincters relax l Release of stool, urine l Eyes can remain open l Jaw falls open l Body fluids may trickle internally l Muscles, sphincters relax l Release of stool, urine l Eyes can remain open l Jaw falls open l Body fluids may trickle internally

32 What to do when death occurs l Don’t call ‘911’ l Whom to call l No specific ‘rules’ l Rarely any need for coroner l Organ donation l Traditions, rites, rituals l Don’t call ‘911’ l Whom to call l No specific ‘rules’ l Rarely any need for coroner l Organ donation l Traditions, rites, rituals

33 Moving the body l Prepare the body l Choice of funeral service providers l Wrapping, moving the body Family presence Intolerance of closed body bags l Prepare the body l Choice of funeral service providers l Wrapping, moving the body Family presence Intolerance of closed body bags

34 Pronouncing death l “Please come…” l Entering the room l Pronouncing l Documenting l “Please come…” l Entering the room l Pronouncing l Documenting

35 Telephone notification l Sometimes necessary l Use 6 steps of good communication l Sometimes necessary l Use 6 steps of good communication

36 Bereavement care l Bereavement care l Attendance at funeral l Follow-up to assess grief reactions, provide support l Assistance with practical matters Redeem insurance Will, financial obligations, estate closure l Bereavement care l Attendance at funeral l Follow-up to assess grief reactions, provide support l Assistance with practical matters Redeem insurance Will, financial obligations, estate closure

37 EPECEPECOOEPECEPECOOO EPECEPECOOEPECEPECOOO Summary Care in last hours is as important as at any other time in cancer care


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