Blood Pressure Before Death
When a patient is approaching death, the body will begin to shut down as the end nears. Because the heart is unable to pump normally, blood pressure lowers and blood is unable to circulate properly throughout the body. While it is never easy to watch a loved one slip away, this is all part of the natural dying process.
What is the low blood pressure range before death?
Blood pressure readings have two numbers. The top number is the systolic blood pressure, which indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against artery walls as the heart beats. The lower number indicates how much pressure the blood is exerting against artery walls while the heart is at rest between beats.
When an individual is approaching death, the systolic blood pressure will typically drop below 95mm Hg. However, this number can vary greatly as some individuals will always run low. Low blood pressure alone does not mean that death is imminent. Therefore, it is difficult to give an exact low blood pressure death range. The patient’s hospice care team will be assessing all of the patient’s symptoms in their totality, including how the patient is breathing and whether they have become unresponsive.
What are some of the other signs that death is imminent?
In addition to low blood pressure before death, there are other signs and symptoms that are often seen that a patient is approaching death. Some common signs and symptoms that death may be imminent include:
- Cold hands, feet, and legs.
- Mottled skin.
- Mental confusion.
- Increased sleeping.
- Terminal restlessness.
- Decrease in food and fluid intake.
- Changes in breathing.
- Decreased urine output.
Each patient is unique. Some patients may display some of the above symptoms, but not others. There is also no specific order in which to expect to see these signs and symptoms. To receive a free guide to end-of-life signs and symptoms and learn more about blood pressure before death, please complete the form on this page.
End-of-Life signs by disease.
Learn about the specific end-of-life signs of common diseases and illnesses:
More end-of-life resources.
- Preparing for the Death of a Parent
- Breathing Patterns Before Death
- What is Active Dying?
- Mottled Skin Before Death
- Terminal Restlessness
- End-of-Life Confusion