End Of Life Nutritional Assessment
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End of Life Nutritional Assessment
Most patients and families are aware that without fluids, death will occur quickly. Current literature suggests that fluids should not be routinely administered to dying patients, nor automatically withheld from them. Instead the decision should be based upon careful, individual assessment. Consideration of the following when the choice to initiate and continue hydration is evaluated:
Is the patient’s well-being enhanced by the overall effect of hydration?
Which current symptoms are being relieved by artificial hydration?
Are other end of life symptoms being aggravated by the fluids?
Does hydration improve the patient’s level of consciousness? If so, is this within the patient’s goals and wishes for end of life care?
Does it appear to prolong the patient’s survival? If so, is this within the patient’s goals and wishes for end of life care?
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