Clinically assisted hydration at end of life: advice for nurses
Clinically assisted hydration may not be in a dying patient’s best interests and decisions are not always straightforward. We examine guidance on the issue
Providing clinically assisted hydration (CAH) to dying patients is one of the most contentious issues in end of life care. A major study is under way to assess the risks and benefits.
Why is providing hydration in this way not as clear-cut as many assume?
What is clinically assisted hydration (CAH)?
CAH is not about supporting the patient themselves to drink. Instead, it refers to the infusion of fluids into the veins (intravenous) or under the skin (subcutaneous) for people who are incapable of drinking themselves.
It can be provided for