fbpx

Here’s How to Help a Patient Die Peacefully

Lauren Vater, MD, MPH witnessed something she never hopes she'll witness again. A quick share on how to ensure a comfortable death for the inevitable, when possible.

June 8, 2022

On my fifth day as an intern, I witnessed something I hope to never witness again.

One of my team members removed a breathing tube (the patient and family had decided to focus on comfort), but the nurse was at lunch.

She was not alerted this was happening.

There were no comfort medications ordered, or mention of these orders.

Then our team moved on to the next patient for rounds.

 

When the nurse returned, the patient was uncomfortable.

There were no medication orders.

 

I witnessed something I hope to never witness again.

 

It took time to get the orders.

It took time to get the medicines verified/pulled/transported.

All of this precious time.

The nurse was distressed.

The family was distressed.

I was distressed.

 

One of my team members removed a breathing tube (the patient and family had decided to focus on comfort), but the nurse was at lunch. When the nurse returned, the patient was uncomfortable. Click To Tweet

 

Let’s ensure our patients on comfort care measures really have a peaceful death.

Here’s how to help a patient die peacefully:

Before removing the breathing tube, ask:

 

  1. Does my patient have medication ordered to keep her comfortable (comfort care order set)?
  2. Is the nursing team aware of the plan?
  3. Is the respiratory therapist aware of the plan?
  4. Does the nurse have quick access to medication to ease pain and difficulty breathing, or is more time needed for it to be verified/delivered?

 

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Of Interest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

[SERIES] Stigmatized

Coming Soon: Stigmatized [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Dr. Jay Joshi hosts this limited time series, in which he brings other healthcare professionals to the discussion table, to cover a stigmatizing topic.

[SERIES] Stigmatized

Coming Soon: Stigmatized [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Dr. Jay Joshi hosts this limited time series, in which he brings other healthcare professionals to the discussion table, to cover a stigmatizing topic.

Jamian Reed, DO

Jamian Reed, DO

Introducing Psychodynamic Osteopathy to find health of body, mind, and spirit.

Alina Olteanu, MD, PhD

Alina Olteanu, MD, PhD

Preventing chronic diseases, including mental health struggles, starts in childhood! Healthy children grow into health adults!

Uday Khosla, MD

Uday Khosla, MD

I am a nephrologist who focuses on developing businesses that support physician independence and improve the healthcare experience for both patients and physicians.

Want More?

Be a part of our healthcare revolution. Don't miss a thing SoMeDocs publishes!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

follow us

© 2024 SoMeDocs. All Rights Reserved.

Soak up our content & grow

Earn CME

Drop your email address below and we’ll email you the link for earning CME (through CMEfy). Please check your spam folder if you do not receive our email. We’ll also add you to our Sunday newsletter, so you can earn more CME credits reading our content!

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sponsor in more doctors.

Interested in subscribing
to our unique content?

Interested in subscribing to our unique content?

I acknowledge that this site is not to be used for medical advice.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”

Site SoMeDocs Logo, square

WANT TO STAY IN THE LOOP?

DON'T MISS A SINGLE CONTENT PIECE.