death rattle

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death rattle2016-12-15T15:36:59+00:00

death rattle


Definition A popular term for an auditory aspect of end-stage lung disease–e.g., which occurs in terminal lung cancer or pulmonary oedema when clearance of large/upper airway secretions becomes increasingly difficult.

Comment As air moves to and fro in the tracheobronchial tree, the sound acquires a gurgling or rattling quality, often presaging death.

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