General Question

Jude's avatar

What is the name of the breathing right before death?

Asked by Jude (32112points) February 25th, 2011

Morbid question, I know. Sorry.

You hear a gurgling sound…

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13 Answers

optimisticpessimist's avatar

The death rattle…. that is the only thing I have heard of.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I have heard it called Cheyne-Stokes breathing.

Dog's avatar

Agonal
(The spasmodic open mouth with contraction of the diaphragm and retraction of the hyoid apparatus which occurs at death.) I learned it during EMT training.

syz's avatar

Agonal. As in “This dog is agonal -intubate and find out if the owners want CPR”.

Seelix's avatar

According to the Wikipedia article, agonal respiration is not the same as a death rattle, although both occur just before death. Both are medical terms, but they have different causes.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Jude's avatar

What I am thinking of is the death rattle.

filmfann's avatar

My mother described a death rattle as being very loud.
I suspect I will know it when I hear it.

saraaaaaa's avatar

To be honest I think I’d rather not know.

tranquilsea's avatar

My mother’s final breaths didn’t gurgle at all. She gapped her breathing out, almost like she forgot to breathe, and then she would take a giant breath. Two breaths later she was gone.

john65pennington's avatar

Tranquilsea, my mother is 93 and I truly dread the thoughts of her last breath. Your answer has prepared me for her last breath. Thanks, I will now know what to look for. She is in a nursing home and not well, at all.

tranquilsea's avatar

@john65pennington I was terrified too. But everything ended up being so peaceful. As peaceful as dying can be. I just wish she could have been awake so I could tell her again how much I love her.

The only thing that I didn’t expect was how much saliva ran out of her mouth. She had been on a respirator. If I had known that was going to happen I would have brought softer clothes to wipe it away. I had to make do with the scratchy hospital towels. I can’t imagine that felt comfortable for her although I wiped as softly as I could.

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