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Hospice Care/Refrigeration of Comfort Kits?


QUESTION: Should those be refrigerated?

ANSWER: Hi, Robert--

This is something your hospice nurse should have told you when she brought the comfort kit.  We always kept them in the refrigerator, primarily because that was a way to narrow down where it was when the time came that it was needed.

I do not recall that anything contained in the comfort kit required refrigeration though.

I would suggest you double check with your hospice, just to be sure--

Thank you for your question!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: All 5 items were to be stored at Room Temperature as Manufactures Printed on Labels of their products though the Pharmacist id carry over the warning labels, so my mother died! Wonder how many 10000s of people died for same reason? Who stated that it was okay to refrigerate non-refrigerated Prescriptions? Sounds like a Huge Class Action Law Suit like Mesothelioma to me if Hospice companies across the nation are deviating from Manufacturers Guidelines. My mothers & others should still be alive, so Liability is upon the Multitude of Hospice Companies across the country. Their attorney's are suppose to use their FIDUCIARY DUTY, TO PROTECT THE ASSETS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE COMPANIES. Someone should have asked the ETHICAL QUESTION, WHY ARE WE REFRIGERATING COMFORT KITS, WHEN NOT SUPPOSE TO PURSUANT TO MANUFACTURER'S GUIDELINES, which is with FDA APPROVAL & NOT TO REFRIGERATE? A similarly situated person as myself & 1,000,000s of others would agree & even a JURY!

Dear Robert:

Thank you for writing to me.

I am so sorry for the loss of your mother.  I know when I lost my father, it was as if the world no longer supported my feet and nothing would ever be the same again.  It has been 31 years and I still miss him.  I still remember the last touch of my fingertips on the side of his face and the scent of his hair the last time I kissed his cheek.  

There are no medications which, when refrigerated, become dangerous.  At the very worst, these medications might, over time, become less effective.  If there were any meds that could become unsafe under any circumstances, we would never use them, unless we could absolutely control the circumstances of their handling.  If any meds could be changed simply by chilling them, we would tell people not to put the comfort kits in the refrigerator.  I promise you, no one benefits from causing the kind of problems you suggest, and it would have hit the news and been well known before this.

I know you are hurting. As I wrote above, I have been there too.  Although it could be expensive, I would invite you to seek out and hire an expert locally who can demonstrate to you that your worse fears are not true: no one killed your mother by keeping her pain and symptom management medications cold.  I would also encourage you to seek out support in the form of grief counseling.  No one should ever have to suffer unnecessarily.  It is clear you are in pain.  It may be that you will not be able to rest unless or until you get evidence from someone you trust, that cold medications did not harm and could not have harmed your mother or anyone else.

I hope you will write again in a while and let me know how you are doing.  I pray for your peace of mind and resolution of your fears concerning the death of your mother.


Hospice Care

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Christine Johnson


I can give suggestions, encouragement and direction on what hospice is and is not, when it is appropriate, and how to go about getting it. I am familiar with Medicaid and Medicare hospice benefits. I can answer general questions about disease process, what dying looks like, how hospice handles pain and other symptoms, what to expect from a hospice when end of life nears. I can provide support, direction and encouragement related to spiritual matters and psychological matters related to death and dying.


I am a certified hospice and palliative care nurse, and have been the director of nurses for three hospice centers, under two different companies. I have also worked as a contract hospice nurse for a large American hospice company. On a personal level, my father died without benefit of hospice (it was not popular then). I have taken care of dying patients in hospitals and recognize that for most of us, it is preferable to die at home (or in our residence, wherever that may be), comfortably and without anxiety. Also I had no support when my father died; hospice clients are the whole family (however that is defined by the "patient"), and support is provided at least a year after the patient passes. These are the sorts of things (and probably others) that I can help with.

HPNA (Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association)

none yet

Registered Nurse (TX), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (TX) ADN Nursing, Excelsior College, Albany, New York (2004) 4.0 GPA BA, Psychology (minor Social Work), Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1986) 3.67 GPA MHR (MA) Human Relations, Oklahoma University, Norman, OK (1988) 3.5 GPA

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa (and others)

Past/Present Clients
Unable to name as this would violate their privacy (and HIPAA....)

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