Foam and saliva after passing

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Foam and saliva after passing

by MandyD on Thu Nov 16, 2017 03:59 AM

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Hello, My father passed this weekend from Nuero-adrenal Cancer. It had metastasized to his brain, kidneys, bone, lung, lymph nodes, spinal column  and stomach. From diagnosis to passing was just over 2 months. I am a Nurse so as my dads youngest child and being a daddy's girl, I was his caretaker. I never missed any appointments, radiation or chemo sessions. My question is my Dad wasn't able to cough up sputum about 24 hours prior to passing. I used a suction machine to help him get sputum out when it got bad. Right before his passing he started the rattle. It sounded SO BAD like he had gallons of liquid stuck in his throat. I continued giving him his Ativan and morphine as ordered to keep him comfortable. He wasn't able to swallow last few hours but I gave him it sublingual and massaged his throat to help him swallow as much as he could. Right before he passed he sounded like he was struggling to get air through the secretions.  He passed and right after a foamy spit up came pouring out his mouth. I'm afraid I hurt him. Like maybe I shouldn't have gave the meds? Maybe I should have suctioned him? The sight of it was terrifying. Please has anyone else experienced this? My heart is broken thinking I did something wrong. God it's gut wrenching. 

RE: Foam and saliva after passing

by swehrle on Thu Nov 16, 2017 06:39 AM

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On Nov 16, 2017 3:59 AM MandyD wrote:

Hello, My father passed this weekend from Nuero-adrenal Cancer. It had metastasized to his brain, kidneys, bone, lung, lymph nodes, spinal column  and stomach. From diagnosis to passing was just over 2 months. I am a Nurse so as my dads youngest child and being a daddy's girl, I was his caretaker. I never missed any appointments, radiation or chemo sessions. My question is my Dad wasn't able to cough up sputum about 24 hours prior to passing. I used a suction machine to help him get sputum out when it got bad. Right before his passing he started the rattle. It sounded SO BAD like he had gallons of liquid stuck in his throat. I continued giving him his Ativan and morphine as ordered to keep him comfortable. He wasn't able to swallow last few hours but I gave him it sublingual and massaged his throat to help him swallow as much as he could. Right before he passed he sounded like he was struggling to get air through the secretions.  He passed and right after a foamy spit up came pouring out his mouth. I'm afraid I hurt him. Like maybe I shouldn't have gave the meds? Maybe I should have suctioned him? The sight of it was terrifying. Please has anyone else experienced this? My heart is broken thinking I did something wrong. God it's gut wrenching. 

Hi, my 91 year old father passed away 6 weeks ago from complicatons from a fall.  He developed pheumonia, which they thougth he already had when he was admitted to the hospital. Things spiraled out of control very quickly.  My dad also struggled to breathe and I suctioned his throat his last two hours.  Eventually he was given morphine to relax him and make him confortable.....I know I also struggle with seeing my dad struggle to take his many last breathes.  My dad also had the foam/saliva right after passing.  I assumed that was normal....

Sounds like to were right there for your dad and did what you thought was best and most comforting for him.  I did the same thing but I know it is still hard having the memories of how they looked.  I feel good knowing I was there for my dad....and you did the same thing, so please feel good about that and don't second guess yourself.  You love him.

Take care of yourself!

Sue

RE: Foam and saliva after passing

by PunkyD on Thu Nov 16, 2017 06:50 AM

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Dear Mandy,

So sorry to hear about your father's passing. It is a hard thing to process, I know. I lost both my Mom and father in law to cancer, was their caregiver and was present at their deaths. It is a very difficult and emotional thing to be present for. I didn't experience what you did with your father, but everyone is different. It is very natural to feel fear, guilt, sorrow after being present at someone's death, especially if the person was close to you, but PLEASE, don't beat yourself up about it.  You didn't do anything wrong!!! There are always "what ifs", but that just shows how much you cared. A simple Google search (which I did) will show you that there are often many types of secretions (including foam and saliva) of bodily fluids from different places in the body as/after the person passes. You are a nurse. I'm sure you took care of your father better than anyone else could have. I'm sorry that his end wasn't more peaceful, and yes, this can be terrifying and gut wrenching.  Please don't blame yourself. Give yourself time to grieve. Realize that he is no longer suffering. 

Punky

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