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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 112

of 'Pediatric palliative care'

Terminal sedation in palliative medicine--definition and review of the literature.
Cowan JD, Walsh D
Support Care Cancer. 2001;9(6):403.
This paper reviews the reported use of nonopioid medications for terminal sedation. To provide a summary of the available literature, an electronic database search was performed. Thirteen series and 1 4 case reports were identified. Various symptoms, including agitation, pain, and confusion, required terminal sedation. Eleven drugs were used in 342 patients. Most patients were also treated with concurrent opioids and received terminal sedation in an inpatient hospice unit. Midazolam was the most common sedative employed. A good response--defined as adequate sedation--ranged between 75% and 100%. The median time to death following the introduction of terminal sedation was greater than 1 day. No agent appears to have superior efficacy or limiting toxicity.
Palliative Medicine of East Tennessee, Blount Memorial Hospital, Maryville 37804-5016, USA.