Hospice of St. Mary's | 301-994-3023

Common Terminal Diagnoses

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24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

CallĀ 301-994-3023 if you ever need to discuss a patient's eligibility for hospice services.

A patient does not need to meet all of the listed conditions in order to be considered appropriate for services by Hospice of St. Mary's. This information should be used ONLY as a guideline and not as a final determining factor.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Rapid progression in last 12 months
  • Impaired breathing at rest
  • Insufficient nutrition and hydration
  • Recurrent aspiration pneumonia
  • Upper urinary tract infection
  • Sepsis
  • Recurrent fever
  • Decubitus ulcers


  • Inability to walk
  • Incontinence
  • Fewer than seven intelligible words
  • Albumin less than 2.5 or decrease PO intake
  • Frequent emergency department visits

Failure to Thrive

  • Frequent emergency department visits
  • Albumin less than 2.5
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Decubitus ulcers
  • Homebound/bed confined

Heart Disease

  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • (CHF) symptoms at rest
  • Ejection Fraction (EF) of less than 20%
  • New dysrhythmia
  • Cardiac arrest, syncope or cerebrovascular accident (CVA)
  • Frequent emergency department visits for symptoms

Liver Disease

  • Prothrombin time (PT) greater than 5 seconds
  • Albumin less than 2.5
  • Refractory ascites
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis
  • Jaundice
  • Malnutrition and muscle wasting

Lung Cancer

  • Advanced disease stage
  • Albumin less than 2.5
  • Calcium greater than or equal to 12.0
  • Metastasis to brain, bone
  • Decreasing functional status

Pulmonary Disease

  • Dyspnea at rest
  • Signs or symptoms of right heart failure
  • Oxygen (O2) sat on O2 of less than 88%
  • Partial pressure of carbon dioxide (P CO2) greater than 50
  • Unintentional weight loss

Renal Disease

  • Not a candidate for dialysis
  • Creatinine clearance of less than 15 ml per minute
  • Serum creatine greater than 6.0


  • Secondary coma greater than 3 days
  • Dysphagia


  • Post-stroke dementia
  • Poor functional status
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Serum albumin less than 2.5

Other Diseases with Short Prognosis

  • Esophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Glioblastoma
  • Liver cancer
  • Gall bladder cancer
  • Any cancer with generalized metastases; metastasis to brain, liver, bone; or unresectable