Dyspnoea is a subjective symptom relating to breathing discomfort. There may be a psychosocial component to dyspnoea. Dyspnoea is common in the terminal phase
of a palliative illness.
For the specific management of someone with anxiety associated with dyspnoea, refer to Anxiety. For support with switching between opioids, refer to Opioids: Switching between Formulations.
smartphone application (available as an app or as online content)
Tasmanian Palliative Care Formulary
Therapeutic Guidelines: Palliative Care
This content was developed for the Decision Assist program, and is managed by CareSearch.
Page updated 18 September 2018
- Dyspnoea is a common symptom in dying patients without always having a specific cause
- Potentially treatable causes of dyspnoea include cardiac failure, chest infection, pleural effusions or ascites:
- active treatment of these maybe clinically appropriate
- Consider trialling a fan, which has been shown to help some patients with dyspnoea