Which of the following signs would indicate imminent death in a hospice patient?

  1. tightly clenched muscles
  2. steady, deep respirations
  3. slow pulse rate
  4. fixed, dilated pupils
Number 4 is correct.
Rationale: Signs of imminent death include fixed and dilated pupils, weak and rapid pulse, shallow respirations, and atonic muscles. Clenched muscles could be a sign that the patient is in pain and might need additional assessment. Steady, deep respirations and a slower pulse rate are a sign of a stable patient.