The management of respiratory insufficiency in patients with ALS at or near the end of life

Home Healthc Nurse. 2012 Mar;30(3):186-94; quiz 194-6. doi: 10.1097/NHH.0b013e318246d45a.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating motor neuron disease causing progressive paralysis and eventual death, usually from respiratory failure. Treatment for ALS is focused primarily on optimal symptom management because there is no known cure. Respiratory symptoms that occur are related to the disease process and can be very distressing for patients and their loved ones. Recommendations on the management of respiratory insufficiency are provided to help guide clinicians caring for patients with ALS.

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / complications
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / nursing*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurse's Role
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / nursing*
  • Terminal Care / standards*
  • United States