What are the signs
and symptoms of
Dying is a process, a natural slowing down of the
body's systems. This process is different for each and every individual and the duration
may vary from hours to days.
have already noticed such changes as decreased appetite and mobility. As death approaches,
body functions will continue to change.
death is imminent, you will begin noticing physical changes:
There may be a change in responsiveness (more
difficult to arouse, increased restlessness or agitation). Even though the patient is
unresponsive, please remember hearing is very acute. Do continue communicating verbally
and through touch.
Usually the patient will
have difficulty in swallowing and may refuse liquids and/or medications.
There may be changes in
urinary function, i.e., retention, incontinence and/or reduced output.
A temperature elevation is
not unusual at this time.
Breathing may become more
labored, noisy, and irregular, but this does not mean that the patient is having distress
(arms/hands and legs/feet) may become cooler to touch and may take on a bluish tinge. This
is due to slowing of circulation.