n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Managing terminal restlessness : main topic




Delirium is common in dying patients. To recognise the problem look for features such as inattention, muddled thinking, altered level of consciousness of recent onset and with a fluctuating course. Although in many cases delirium in dying patients is irreversible, infection, hypercalcaemia, faecal impaction, urinary retention and certain drug interactions may be reversible. If aggressive and violent, use appropriate drugs in effective doses to adequately sedate the patient. Carefully explain the cause of the strange behaviour to the patient's family and help them to understand the poor prognosis and the need for effective sedation.


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