Studies examining the effectiveness of treatment in reducing the noises of death rattle have been conducted; however, the physical impact of death rattle on the patient experiencing the phenomenon has not been investigated. Treatments may be undertaken to appease family and staff but these treatments may be more burdensome than beneficial to the patient.
Further, nonbeneficial treatments increase the cost of care. A prospective, two-group observation study was conducted to determine if patients with naturally occurring death rattle experience respiratory distress. Patents who were near death were stratified into those with and without death rattle. Seventy-one dying patients were recruited from three palliative care and hospice settings.
Patients were excluded if they had an artificial airway or if their clinical condition caused a secondary source of death rattle, identified as pseudo-death rattle. Daily observations were made for death rattle intensity and respiratory distress along with use of antisecretory medications.
SPSS analysis code, project proposal