Treatment options for terminally ill children

    • Treatment options for terminally ill children
      • Hospital
        • Families may choose to remain in the hospital to receive care if the child’s illness or condition is unstable and home care is not an option or the family is uncomfortable with providing care at home.
        • Families are encouraged to bring familiar items from the child’s room at home.
          • There should be a consistent and coordinated care plan for the comfort of the child and family.
      • Home care
        • Home care is often the option chosen by physicians and families because of the traditional view that a child must be considered to have a life expectancy of less than 6 months to be referred to hospice care.
      • Hospice
        • Parents should be offered the option of caring for their child at home during the final phases of an illness with the assistance of a hospice organization
        • Hospice is a community health care organization that specializes in the care of dying patients by combining the hospice philosophy with the principles of palliative care
        • Families may continue to see their primary care physicians as they choose
        • Hospice care is based on several important concepts that significantly set it apart from hospital care:
          • Family members are usually the principal caregivers and are supported by a team of professional and volunteer staff.
          • The priority of care is comfort. The child’s physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs are considered. Pain and symptom control are primary concerns, and no extraordinary efforts are used to attempt a cure or prolong life.
          • The family’s needs are as important as those of the patient.
          • Hospice is concerned with the family’s post-death adjustment, and care may continue for 1 year or longer.

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