The last hours of living: Practical advice for clinicians

Jung Hyun Kim, Youn Seon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Caring for a patient dying is a hardship not only to the health care professionals, but also to the direct family members. Everyone wants to die in peace. However, inevitable problems accompanied by, pain, dyspnea, moist breathing, nausea and vomiting, restlessness jerking and twitching were commonly noted in the last phase of life. Terminal patients also experience increasing weakness and immobility, loss of interest in food and drink, difficulty in swallowing, and drowsiness during the last hours of life. Control of symptoms and family support are extremely important, and the actual nature of the primary illness takes less importance. This is a time when levels of anxiety, stress, and emotion can be high to patients, families, and other caregivers. Thus, it is important for the healthcare team to adopt sensitive and systematic approach to patients including documentation and communication of end-of-life issues. Hospice is the most ideal program for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-704
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication
  • Dying patient
  • Hospice
  • The last hours of living

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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