Pediatric palliative care is an active, total approach to relieve pain and suffering by embracing physical, emotional and spiritual elements with a focus on quality of life for the child and support for the family. Palliative medicine is appropriate for pediatric patients with a disease in any stage. This includes children undergoing treatment for curable illnesses, those living with chronic diseases, as well as pediatric patients who are nearing the end of life.
At Connecticut Children’s, our palliative medicine specialists use a multidisciplinary approach to care for children of all ages, relying on input from physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, chaplains, and other allied health professionals to develop a plan of care to relieve suffering in all areas of a child’s life.
The purpose of pediatric palliative care is to improve quality of life for a child and their family. This is accomplished through expert management of pain and other physical symptoms such as vomiting, anxiety and shortness of breath. Emotional and spiritual support services and specialized counseling also help patients, siblings and families cope with the range of emotions that result from dealing with a life-threatening illness or condition.
Parents and Connecticut Children’s physicians and specialists are faced with difficult decisions when it comes to balancing the benefits of medicine and technology when it comes to maintaining a child’s quality of life. Our pediatric palliative care specialists work closely with parents and families to make decisions that benefit the child while honoring the goals and wishes of the family.