Mom's Daily Tests & Meds - Current

A continuation of Mom's Daily Tests & Meds

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Contents of Hospice Comfort Pack

    At my request, the Hospice RN who visited yesterday went through the contents of our refrigerated Comfort Pack and explained the Hospice purposes of all the meds therein contained. Following is what I learned:
  • Morphine Sulfate:  See Morphine Manual
  • Acetaminophen Suppository 650 mg:  For difficulty swallowing and/or end-of-life fever
  • Haloperidol 2mg/ml:  For nausea or severe agitation
  • Ativan (loracepam) 1 mg:  For anxiety, usually, in the case of respiratory patients, due to difficulty breathing; often used with morphine
  • Prochlorper 10 mg tablets and 20 mg suppositories:  For nausea
  • ABHR:  Suppository for nausea
  • Hyoscyam 0.125 mg/ml:  To quiet death rattle at end-of-life; when the RN told me this I immediately asked, "Is this for the patient's comfort or for the family's comfort?"
    "You're on the button," she replied. "It's for the family."
    "Ah," I said. "Then I probably won't be using it. Over the years I've gotten used to a variety of noises coming from my mother. If she's comfortable and peaceful, I can't see any reason to quiet her death rattle."
    Please note, these explanations, above, are not extensive and there is a lot of information they don't include. I wasn't looking for a PDA explanation...merely a thumbnail sketch of why we have them and how we might use them. The RN underlined that before using any of them, at least for the first time, I should always contact Hospice for approval and direction, and, of course, I will.

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