Palliative care treatment goals in the dying stages (last stages) are monitoring and care of the patient in preparing for death. The terminal illness is defined not sharp. It is characterized in that the death probably occurs within hours to days. In the last stages of terminal cancer characteristic symptoms occur, such as general physical weakness and fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation and shortness of breath with little stress. Frequently, the speech itself is exhausting.

Rarely, the terminal cancer patients will still be able to leave the bed. Difficulty in breathing is a common symptom, is added a loud rattling sound. This is caused by the increased formation of bronchial and pulmonary edema; the dying out of weakness can not cough up enough. In the last stages of terminal cancer everything that could weigh on the dying patient in addition is avoided. Term medication has been limited to a few drugs. Analgesia, control of dyspnea and vomiting, sedation, anxiolysis, and if necessary, are priorities in this phase.

The decision on the use of sedation should be based on the presumed intention of the patient and may in some cases be difficult. Non-opioid analgesics in the terminal phase are often no longer required, if they do, are benzodiazepines (e.g. midazolam, lorazepam or flunitrazepam) are used. In delirium symptoms can Haloperiodol (4-8 mg po, sc or iv) to apply. The application of drugs to be in the dying process must be carefully checked and adjusted if necessary to the development of symptoms in the dying phase to allow the patient a symptom-controlled dignified death.

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