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Modules:

  • Introduction
  • 1. Advance Care Planning
  • 2. Communicating Bad News
  • 3. Whole Patient Assessment
  • 4. Pain Management
  • 5. Assisted Suicide Debate
  • 6. Anxiety, Delirium
  • 7. Goals of Care
  • 8. Sudden Illness
  • 9. Medical Futility
  • 10. Common Symptoms
  • 11. Withholding Treatment
  • 12. Last Hours of Living
  • 13. Cultural Issues
  • 14. Religion, Spirituality
  • 15. Legal Issues
  • 16. Social and Psychological
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    Back to Module 10: Common Physical Symptoms
    Specific Symptoms

     
    Breathlessness (Dyspnea)
    Nausea and Vomiting
    Constipation
    Diarrhea
    Anorexia/Cachexia
    Fatigue/Weakness
    Fluid Balance/Edema
    Skin
    Odors Insomnia

    Odors

    Definition/Description

    • Odors may be very distressing to patients, families, and caregivers
    • May lead to poor-quality care, as even professional caregivers avoid sickening smells
    • Odors are usually the result of anaerobic infections and/or poor hygiene

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    Management

    • Topical and/or systemic antibiotics
      • Treat superficial infections with topical metronidazole or silver sulfadiazine bid–tid

      • For soft tissue infections, add systemic metronidazole 250–500 mg q 8h to topical management
    • Nonpharmacologic approaches
      • To control odors in room:
        • Place open kitty litter or activated charcoal in a pan under the patient’s bed
        • Provide adequate room ventilation
        • Place an open cup of vinegar in the room
        • Burn a candle

      • Special charcoal impregnated dressings placed over the odorous wound may also be helpful
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