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This chapter presents procedures that contribute towards the comfort of patients approaching the end of life and those required following death. It covers considerations relating to symptom control at the end of life, including the management of ascites and procedures that contribute to the delivery of compassionate end‐of‐life care. The focus of this chapter is on patients who are primarily being cared for in the hospital setting. It also sets out the procedures to be followed once death has occurred.
Caring for patients who are reaching the end of their life can present both challenges and rewards. In addition to physical symptoms such as pain, breathlessness, nausea and increasing fatigue, people who are approaching the end of life may experience anxiety, depression, and social and spiritual difficulties. Individualized management of these issues requires collaborative, multidisciplinary working and effective channels of communication.