The Hospice Comfort Pack: Convenient Medication Relief

Patients receiving hospice care may experience symptoms like trouble breathing or sleeping, nausea or vomiting, or discomfort. These symptoms often arise unexpectedly or worsen quickly. It’s so it’s important to have medications on hand that can provide relief right away.

VNSNY Hospice Care provides a hospice comfort pack. Sometimes this is referred to as a hospice emergency kit. The hospice comfort pack contents include a small supply of emergency medications to relieve common symptoms, without filling a prescription or waiting for medications to be delivered. The medications in the comfort pack should only be used if the hospice nurse or physician directs you to. Your VNSNY Hospice nurse will go over the medications so you understand how to use them and when.

The Hospice Comfort Pack:

  • Is delivered to your home
  • Should be placed in the refrigerator when it arrives
  • Has a seal/packaging that should not be opened until needed
  • Contains medications that should never be used without instruction from a hospice nurse or physician
  • Is for hospice patients only; do not let others use the medications.

Medications in the Comfort Pack

  • Acetaminophen suppository
    The generic version of Tylenol. Placed in the rectum for mild pain or fever.
  • Haloperidol (Haldol) liquid oral solution
    Given by mouth for restlessness or confusion.
  • Atropine ophthalmic solution
    Given under the tongue to dry up secretions in the mouth and throat.
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
    Swallowed by mouth and helps patients for anxiety, restlessness, or trouble sleeping.
  • Morphine sulfate liquid concentrated solution (Roxanol)
    Swallowed by mouth to relieve pain or shortness of breath.
  • Prochlorperazine (Compazine) suppository
    Placed in the rectum and used to relieve nausea or vomiting.
  • Bisacodyl (Dulcolax) suppository
    Placed into the rectum and used to relieve constipation.

Hospice patients may receive other medicine depending on their diagnosis. For example, a patient at risk for seizures may receive anti-seizure medications; some pain medications can cause severe constipation, so patients on methadone or opiates may receive additional laxatives or enemas. The hospice nurse will work with the patient and caregiver to ensure the right medications are provided as part of the hospice comfort pack.

For more information or help with symptoms:

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