Pain and Morphine in Hospice

One of the biggest concerns in hospice is pain. Am I or is my loved one going to be in pain? Our goal is your comfort. The way we achieve that is through our group of professionals who are all dedicated to that exact same goal. Medication is our biggest tool in hospice and end of life to assure comfort. A comfort kit will be delivered to your home. A comfort kit is a whole box of different medications, addressing different types of symptoms that are common at the end of life. The kit has something for pain, anxiety, nausea, constipation, difficulty breathing secretions and fever. All of those symptoms are able to be managed in the home setting and you will be trained on how to use them or if necessary, a nurse will be there to administer them for you. One of the medications in the comfort kit is morphine. Oftentimes that poses the question, are you guys going to kill my loved one? The answer is no. The doses that we have in the comfort kit are what we would consider introductory dosages, which means that they’re going to be helpful in alleviating pain, but they are not going to be lethal. Morphine is an opioid. With opioids, we don’t necessarily have what we call a ceiling dose. So there is no maximum, depending on how much opioids a person has been exposed to, they build what we call an opioid tolerance. Essentially what that means is, the more opioids or morphine that you’ve been exposed to, the more your body can tolerate. After we start administering the morphine, the body will start tolerating more and therefore we will be treating the pain without having it be lethal and harmful towards the patient.