Dexmedetomidine is a selective α2-adrenoreceptor agonist with a broad range of effects, including easily controllable sedation, analgesia and anxiolysis. Because of these favorable features, it has replaced traditional sedatives, such as benzodiazepines, and is becoming the first-line sedative for the patients in intensive care units. Terminally ill patients often need sedatives for symptom management, especially for dyspnoea. However, the use of dexmedetomidine in a palliative care setting has rarely been recognised to date. We experienced a patient nearing the end of life due to uncontrollable pulmonary haemorrhage on ventilator, whose dyspnoea was successfully managed by dexmedetomidine in addition to continuous intravenous infusion of oxycodone.
- supportive care
- terminal care
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Contributors AM: patient care, manuscript writing. TM, KD, MK, MS, NY, KI: patient care. SK: supervisor for manuscript writing. ES: patient care, supervisor for manuscript writing.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.