Monday, April 22, 2019

End of life eye care

Q: What is the reason for the inability to close the eyes of terminally ill patients who are chronically sick?

Answer: Cachexia 

 The objective of the above question is to emphasize the importance of the passionate care of terminally ill patients. Cachexia causes the loss of retroorbital fat pad, and the orbit falls too posterior in its socket. This leads to constant exposure of conjunctiva even when the patient is sleeping or sedated. Damage can be prevented with the use of ophthalmic lubricants or artificial tears.



Further readings: 

1. Bailey FA, Burgio KL, Woodby LL, et al. Improving processes of hospital care during the last hours of life. Arch Intern Med 2005; 165:1722. 

2. Plonk WM Jr, Arnold RM. Terminal care: the last weeks of life. J Palliat Med 2005; 8:1042.

3. Pantilat SZ. End-of-life care for the hospitalized patient. Med Clin North Am 2002; 86:749.

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