Comfort Measures


Bathing, skin care, dressing and linen changes, and repositioning are all part of routine methods used to help make patients more comfortable.

Patient's with breathing tubes will experience a dry mouth. Although they cannot drink with a breathing tube, lips can be moistened with lubricants and mouths rinsed with moist sponges.

Patients who are awake often appreciate distractions and diversions. Head sets with CDs of a patients favourite music, or videos of a family get-together can help keep a patient oriented and relieve boredom.

As a family member, you may feel helpless when surrounded by unfamiliar technology, The nurse can show you how you can comfort a patient by wiping or suctioning the patient's mouth, sponging foreheads or applying lotion to dry skin.

Holding a patients hand, talking in a comforting voice or reading favourite stories can provide familiarity that reduces anxiety.

Personalizing the environment often helps to keep patient oriented and can provide comfort. Pictures, comfortable pillows or blanket, or favourite hygiene products can help to humanize the starkness of critical care.

Rest periods are also an important part of the recovery process. Stimulation periods should be interspersed to allow opportunities for sleep and rest.

LHSCPatients, Families & Visitors

Last Updated March 23, 2009 | © 2007, LHSC, London Ontario Canada