Children of all ages can be affected by serious illness. Pediatric Palliative care is specialized medical care for children with serious medical conditions, like genetic disorders, cancer, prematurity, neurologic disorders, heart and lung conditions.
Pediatric palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage of an illness and can be provided along with usual and customary medical treatment.
A team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a child’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support for both the child and the family. The goal is to improve quality of life and reduce suffering.
Pediatric palliative care addresses the symptoms of these diseases, such as pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite and difficulty sleeping.
Pediatric palliative care is family-centered. It helps with communication and coordination of care. With the close communication that palliative care provides, families are better able to choose options that are in line with their values, traditions and culture. This improves the well-being of the entire family.
A great example of community-based pediatric and perinatal palliative care is CompassionNet, Lifetime Care’s program sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield.
Children’s Health The Nation’s Wealth: Assessing and Improving Child Health
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