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Dysphagia, Hiccups, and Other Oral Symptoms 

Dysphagia, Hiccups, and Other Oral Symptoms
Dysphagia, Hiccups, and Other Oral Symptoms

Rachel Klinedinst

, Audrey Kurash Cohen

, and Constance M. Dahlin

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date: 07 July 2020

Dysphagia, hiccups, and other oral symptoms, including sialorrhea, xerostomia, and dysgeusia, are commonly experienced in patients with terminal illnesses and are symptoms of many diseases and health conditions in patients receiving palliative care. These symptoms often occur concurrently and not only impact a patient’s safety and ability to sustain adequate nutrition and hydration, but also physical comfort, social well-being, and quality of life. Consideration of any intervention should be aligned closely with the patient’s overall goals of care and treatment plan. Management of swallowing difficulties and oral complications in patients with serious illness focuses on preventing functional decline, maximizing quality of life and comfort, and supporting the patient’s wishes. Nurses must identify the presence of these symptoms and understand their negative impact on quality of life. A multidisciplinary team-based approach will promote successful treatment with better outcomes and improved relief of symptoms.

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