What Are Some Common Signs and Symptoms of Approaching Death?


Quick Answer

Some of the common signs and symptoms of approaching death days or hours before it occurs include inability to eat or drink; little or no bowel and bladder activity; pain that shows as scowls, groans or grimaces; and glazed eyes, explains WebMD. Drifting in and out of consciousness and an irregular or difficult to detect heartbeat may also indicate imminent death.

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Full Answer

Other signs and symptoms of approaching death include dropping body temperature and breathing that is punctuated by grasping until it stops entirely, explains WebMD. Symptoms that may be noted one to two weeks prior to death are increased pain; changes in heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate; continued loss of appetite and thirst; and decline in bladder and bowel output. Signs and symptoms that often occur one to three months before death include sleeping or dozing more than usual, eating and drinking less, and withdrawing from activities and people that the patient previously found pleasurable.

For teenagers and children, the signs and symptoms of approaching death are more or less similar to those of adults, according to WebMD. However, it is harder to predict the course of dying in children, and they are often fairly active up until their death.

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