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Terminal Agitation Training Sheet

Terminal agitation, also referred to as terminal restlessness, is a common symptom in dying patients. Sometimes those who are usually calm can suddenly and unexpectedly become agitated, restless, and confused. Family members may also notice a rapid change in personality as some may become angry, making irrational accusations and demands. While the cause for this sudden change isn’t completely understood, it is important to remember that it does not indicate a true change in the patient’s feelings about their family or caregiver. Terminal agitation is typically seen during the hours or days before death and can be distressing and overwhelming for caregivers.

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