Dying Process

Author: Jeanette G. Ferrer, DO

Overview

Each person's physical decline and death are unique experiences. Variations appear to be dependent on the individual's particular disease process. However, the following are objective signs that are commonly seen in patients closer to the end of life.

Early Stage of Dying (weeks to months prior to death) Middle Stage of Dying (days to weeks prior to death)
Late Stage of Dying (hours to days prior to death) 

 

References

Kehl, K. A. &Kowalkowski, J.A. (2013). A systematic review of the prevalence of signs of impending death and symptoms in the last 2 weeks of life. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care: 30(6): 601-616. 

Lamers, W.(online). Signs of approaching death. Hospice Foundation of America. Retrieved October 16, 2013 at http://www.hospicefoundation.org/deathsigns . 

Moneymaker, K.A. (2005). Understanding the dying process: Transitions during final days to hours. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 8 (5):PMID:16238528. 

Plonk, W. &Arnold, R. (2005). Terminal care: The last weeks of life. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 8(5): 1042-1054.