What is it about?

Quenching thirst is a basic human need. But what happens when patients at the end-of-life cannot quench their thirst themselves? What support can palliative care physicians provide against thirst in the dying patient?

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Why is it important?

We found that palliative care physicians had different experiences regarding thirst, from believing that thirst never arising, to a lack of awareness. They thought good mouth care worked well to alleviate the feeling of thirst and dry mouth. Most physicians did not want to give patients drips, while a few did. This study indicates that there are many unanswered questions when it comes to thirst at end-of-life and that further research is needed.

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This page is a summary of: Thirst or dry mouth in dying patients?—A qualitative study of palliative care physicians’ experiences, PLoS ONE, August 2023, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0290075.
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