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Thread: Morphine drip

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    Senior Member Odie's Avatar
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    Morphine drip

    I was watching a show last night on t.v.

    Now to my understanding a morphine drip is for pain.

    When my husbands father was dying, he had a morphine tube in him, and if we felt he was in pain, we would then touch a button that releases more morphine, hence less pain he would be in.



    Last night, they had said a morphine drip is for used when someone is dying so it speeds the process up.


    just wondering, are they used for both and if so how?


    much more for someone who is passing to quicken up the process?

    and if that's the case, why wasn't stronger morphine used on my father-in-law as it took 3 weeks for his passing.



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    Re: Morphine drip

    Quote Originally Posted by Odie View Post
    I was watching a show last night on t.v.

    Now to my understanding a morphine drip is for pain.

    When my husbands father was dying, he had a morphine tube in him, and if we felt he was in pain, we would then touch a button that releases more morphine, hence less pain he would be in.



    Last night, they had said a morphine drip is for used when someone is dying so it speeds the process up.


    just wondering, are they used for both and if so how?


    much more for someone who is passing to quicken up the process?

    and if that's the case, why wasn't stronger morphine used on my father-in-law as it took 3 weeks for his passing.


    Raven would know..

    I had three sets of major surgery. The first, i was given Pethadine by Injection every two hours. The second was a morphine drip with the click button same as the third. When my father was dying, he had a bottle by the bed and could help himself yet my sister had the click drip when she was dying, so I am as confused as you.

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    Hormonal almostfamous's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    From what I understand about the use of it in the dying process is that it is a way to ease someone into their death. An intentional overdose being distributed by the medical team is a fair description I would have to say.

    I have seen it used on many of my family members in their passing, most recently my great-grandmother. She was suffering from pneumonia at the end and her breathing was very labored and rattled. The morphine helped relax her muscles and nervous system so that she wasn't struggling near as bad. They gradually began increasing the morphine dosage and eventually she passed. I think it's kind of like... your body can only handle a certain amount of the morphine and at regular increments of it you're body just gives out especially in certain conditions. Ex: the same dosage might ease an elderly patient into their death where the same dosage might make a 20 year old (perfectly fit) high with no serious repercussions.

    Like I said though, this is just my understanding of it
    Last edited by almostfamous; 09-21-2009 at 08:41 AM. Reason: grammar schmammar

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    Senior Member Odie's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    Quote Originally Posted by almostfamous View Post
    From what I understand about the use of it in the dying process is that it is a way to ease someone into their death. An intentional overdose being distributed by the medical team is a fair description I would have to say.

    I have seen it used on many of my family members in their passing, most recently my great-grandmother. She was suffering from pneumonia at the end and her breathing was very labored and rattled. The morphine helped relax her muscles and nervous system so that she wasn't struggling near as bad. They gradually began increasing the morphine dosage and eventually she passed. I think it's kind of like... your body can only handle a certain amount of the morphine and at regular increments of it you're body just gives out especially in certain conditions. Ex: the same dosage might ease an elderly patient into their death where the same dosage might make a 20 year old (perfectly fit) high with no serious repercussions.

    Like I said though, this is just my understanding of it
    I understand what happened with your family, but why would the nurse who came to the house everyday....not give him more to speed up his passing.....as 3 weeks is just to long on the family and him?

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    Hormonal almostfamous's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    After I posted I decided to do a little googling. The first article I linked talks about how morphine is frequently used for people with breathing issues, as it will slow the breathing. I talked about my great gma and how that was a major issue in the end that to us family signified she was still suffering even though she had been comatose for days. Collectively, we requested her morphine be increased. We knew that it would eventually slow her breathing to a stop but there were a lot of other factors that helped us realize that it was her time and she deserved a peaceful exit.

    The second article talks of the stigmas of morphine use. In my opinion it's the doctors' way of avoiding being charged with things such as assisted suicide. I completely understand why they would want to steer clear of that perception of it but to those of us that have seen it happen and have spoken first hand with medical staff, it is what it is. All the same (assisted suicide or not), I agree with it wholly as I've yet to see it abused in my experiences and it has always seemed like a well-regulated comfort measure for end of life care.


    Bias Against Morphine

    and

    it's a myth

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    Hormonal almostfamous's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    Quote Originally Posted by Odie View Post
    I understand what happened with your family, but why would the nurse who came to the house everyday....not give him more to speed up his passing.....as 3 weeks is just to long on the family and him?
    I'm not sure how the home care stuff works at all. Most of the family I've seen pass thru this method were all hospitalized. And honestly, I can't think of any of them that still had a level of consciousness. My grandfather passed of cancer 10 years ago and it was inevitable that he would die but they only used this method after he had lost consciousness. While he was still awake and coherent he had a morphine drip regulated by the button he could press.

    I think it's horrible that your father in law suffered so much My grandfather did too (for several weeks) but honestly so did my great grandmother (thankfully only a week or so was it the worst).

    I kind of wonder if the increased dosages are only used once the patient is no longer able to convey how much pain they are truly in. I don't know though :/

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    Senior Member moonpie's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    The first time I had seen this morphine drip was when my mother in law was in the Paliative Care, and she was given this so she could use at her own discretion, up until she went into a coma. It had not occurred to me that this could be used to speed up the process.

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    Senior Member Odie's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    Quote Originally Posted by almostfamous View Post
    After I posted I decided to do a little googling. The first article I linked talks about how morphine is frequently used for people with breathing issues, as it will slow the breathing. I talked about my great gma and how that was a major issue in the end that to us family signified she was still suffering even though she had been comatose for days. Collectively, we requested her morphine be increased. We knew that it would eventually slow her breathing to a stop but there were a lot of other factors that helped us realize that it was her time and she deserved a peaceful exit.

    The second article talks of the stigmas of morphine use. In my opinion it's the doctors' way of avoiding being charged with things such as assisted suicide. I completely understand why they would want to steer clear of that perception of it but to those of us that have seen it happen and have spoken first hand with medical staff, it is what it is. All the same (assisted suicide or not), I agree with it wholly as I've yet to see it abused in my experiences and it has always seemed like a well-regulated comfort measure for end of life care.


    Bias Against Morphine

    and

    it's a myth


    these are not what I mean, thanks.

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    Senior Member Odie's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

    Quote Originally Posted by moonpie View Post
    The first time I had seen this morphine drip was when my mother in law was in the Paliative Care, and she was given this so she could use at her own discretion, up until she went into a coma. It had not occurred to me that this could be used to speed up the process.
    it was used for pain as she was not 'about to die' then.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Odie's Avatar
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    Re: Morphine drip

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    Quote Originally Posted by almostfamous View Post
    I'm not sure how the home care stuff works at all. Most of the family I've seen pass thru this method were all hospitalized. And honestly, I can't think of any of them that still had a level of consciousness. My grandfather passed of cancer 10 years ago and it was inevitable that he would die but they only used this method after he had lost consciousness. While he was still awake and coherent he had a morphine drip regulated by the button he could press.

    I think it's horrible that your father in law suffered so much My grandfather did too (for several weeks) but honestly so did my great grandmother (thankfully only a week or so was it the worst).

    I kind of wonder if the increased dosages are only used once the patient is no longer able to convey how much pain they are truly in. I don't know though :/

    -this is why I asked.

    was it strictly used for pain?

    and if so, why wasn't increased so he would die.

    he could barely nod when we would ask him, are you in pain...he could not talk.

    I know it was used for pain....as he lived another 3 weeks.


    thing is to... I have no idea how old that documentary was last night.

    I never even thought to check the year.

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