Supportive and Palliative Care – Symptom Management

Supportive and Palliative Care – Symptom Management

Supportive and Palliative Care – Symptom Management

Symptoms other than pain can cause distress during a life-threatening illness. Breathing problems, stomach upset and loss of appetite, insomnia, delirium, and even itching can all be addressed by the palliative care team.



Constipation occurs frequently in patients near the end of life. Cancer patients may have the highest prevalence with as many as 70% to 100% of patients experiencing constipation at some point in their disease.

Death Rattle

End-stage wet respirations, most commonly referred to as the death rattle, may occur at the very end of life when a patient is going through the dying process. If you are caring for a dying loved one, it is helpful to know some practical tips to help treat wet respirations.


Because delirium is a fairly common symptom in many dying patients, you may be the first one to notice that your loved one is experiencing some of its effects.


Medically referred to as pruritus, itching can be very uncomfortable for the patient. Learn more about what you can do to help stop the itch.

Managing Anxiety

Anxiety is a common symptom in patients nearing death. Some patients may experience mild anxiety, but for others, full-blown panic attacks can occur. Regardless of the cause, there are treatments available to relieve the patients anxiety.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common and distressing symptoms in many palliative care patients. However the cause for nausea can be identified and successfully treated.

Shortness of Breath

An estimated 55-70% of patients near the end of life experience shortness of breath. Shortness of breath can be managed effectively to make the patient more comfortable.


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