Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of monitoring actively dying patients hospitalized in a palliative care unit using a nonwearable sheet-type monitor that measured the state of sleep and vital signs per minute. In addition, we aimed to clarify the incidence of increased respiratory rate and its relationship with survival time. Design and Measurement: This study was conducted at a 51-bed palliative care unit in Japan from April 2018 through October 2019. Actively dying patients hospitalized in the palliative care unit were eligible to participate. Increased respiratory rate was measured by Nemuri SCAN, and patient's information was extracted from their medical records. Results: In this study, 23 patients were monitored until death; 19 patients with an observational period of 7 days or longer (163 patient days in total) were included in this analysis. There were no adverse events due to use of the nonwearable device. The cumulative incidence of increased respiratory rate (defined as more than 30 respiratory rate per minute) was 63.16% during the observational period, and the mean time between appearance of increased respiratory rate and death was 4.17 ± 4.04 days. Conclusion: This study clearly shows that hospitalized actively dying patients can be monitored using a nonwearable sheet-type monitor that measures sleeping state and vital signs per minute. Further studies are needed to utilize these noninvasive continuous monitoring devices in daily clinical practice.
Keywords: nonwearable sheet-type monitor; nursing; nursing records; palliative care; prognosis; respiratory rate.