The purpose of the present study was to assess retrospectively the state of hydration of terminal cancer patients in the last 48 hours of their lives, with or without IV fluid infusion and to correlate parameters of hydration with the state of consciousness (SOC). We studied the parameters of hydration in plasma and urine of68 consecutive patients 48 hours or less before death. Thirteen patients were treated by IV fluids. We found a state of dehydration in all investigated patients as reflected by biochemical parameters. Patients with IV fluids were not better hydrated and did not show better SOC. SOC correlated significantly with plasma sodium (p < 0.001) and urine osmolality (p < 0.02). In light of the present findings, the decision-making process regarding treatment with IV fluids should be guided by the preferences of the dying patient and his family.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine|
|State||Published - Jul 1994|