For the vocalization style used in heavy metal music, see Death growl
A death rattle is the sound produced by someone who is near death when saliva accumulates in the throat. Those who are dying may lose their ability to swallow, resulting in such an accumulation. Usually, two or three days earlier the symptoms of death can be observed as saliva accumulates in the throat, making it very difficult to take even a spoonful of water. Related symptoms can include shortness of breath and rapid chest movement. While death rattle is a strong indication that someone is near death, it can also be produced by other problems that cause interference with the swallowing reflex, such as the case with brain injuries.
It is sometimes misinterpreted as the sound of the person choking to death, or alternatively, that they are gargling. In hospice and palliative care, drugs such as glycopyrronium, hyoscine hydrobromide, scopolamine or atropine may be used for their anticholinergic effects to reduce secretions and minimize this effect.
See also 
- ^ Wee, B.; Hillier, R. (2008). "Interventions for noisy breathing in patients near to death". In Wee, B. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD005177. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD005177.pub2. PMID 18254072.
- ^ Hipp, B.; Letizia, M. (2009). "Understanding and responding to the death rattle in dying patients". Medsurg Nursing 18 (1): 17–21, 32; quiz 22. PMID 19331295.
External links 
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Fri, 24 May 2013 21:03:41 -0700
I heard your death rattle!" he said. As his partner struggled to resuscitate Officer Kain, he imagined someone telling his own two small children that their father was dead. Officer Kain's two children are grown. Would that have made it any easier ...
Fri, 24 May 2013 09:29:45 -0700
He photographed mostly facades and interiors during trips to Cuba between 1999 and 2010. They show us a city that, before the 1959 revolution, could boast some of the loveliest and diverse architecture in the world now close to an aesthetic death rattle.
Fri, 24 May 2013 03:22:59 -0700
The lack of efficacy in phase III for preladenant is something of a death rattle for the adenosine A2A receptor antagonist category in Parkinson's, although Kyowa Hakko Kirin's istradefylline (KW 6002) has been filed for approval in Japan as a once ...
This is Leicestershire
This is Leicestershire
Wed, 22 May 2013 23:38:12 -0700
It all sort of happened by accident for We Three and the Death Rattle. One minute they were forming a band simply for the love of making good music, the next they found themselves tipped in the Guardian, featured as single of the week on XFM and ...
Wed, 22 May 2013 09:28:40 -0700
The death rattle of Conservative accountability. The National Post's John Ivison thinks the Prime Minister “blew” his “chance to be accountable” to Canadians for the astonishing fracas resulting from his former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, giving $90 ...
Tue, 21 May 2013 08:41:29 -0700
“Loving you/I'm loving you/I'm loving you/I want to/I would love to,” he cries out on “I Do Sing For You,” turning the heartfelt declaration into a throaty death rattle. This is a remarkably self-assured album, precise in its themes, particular in its ...
Mon, 20 May 2013 13:25:35 -0700
... buy goalscorers, work on set-pieces, set the team up in a more attacking style… I would say yes on all counts, if not we could have a long hard season ahead of us to look forward to and you can still hear the death rattle of the one that's just ...
Mon, 20 May 2013 04:02:48 -0700
“If it [mastectomy] got out to what is certainly a small handful of detractors, I would have read about some anonymous person 'hearing a death rattle.' I'm not dying and I'm not dead.” In fact, after six months' chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, a ...
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