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Background of pediatric palliative care

Pediatric palliative care focuses on the overall management of children who are critically ill with no hope of a cure, either because they suffer from a complex or chronic disease or because of a degenerative disease. Pediatric palliative care encompasses active treatments and moral support intended to alleviate pain and ensure optimum comfort so as to provide the best possible quality of life for children who are affected and to offer support to families throughout the various stages of the disease including end of life phases and bereavement periods.

In 1990, CHU Sainte-Justine implemented a pediatric palliative care program that was specifically designed for providing palliative care at home. In 1997, a full-time clinical nurse position was created for assisting palliative home care and the outpatient pain management clinic. In 1999, an interdisciplinary panel launched a thinking process intended to reflect on pediatric palliative care which led to a philosophy of care a few months later and the implementation of a palliative care consulting team comprising a full-time clinical nurse under the leadership of Mr Nago Humbert and Dr France Gauvin. In 2008, following an increase in consultations, a pediatric palliative care consultation unit was then created with the addition of a second full-time clinical nurse position being created. This allows us to support palliative care patients and attending medical teams and provides a program that ensures continuity of care. Thus, the attending team remains at the forefront and is responsible for treating patients until the end of their life, however short it may be, while ensuring that patients and their family never feel abandoned. The palliative care team remains present in a consultant position and acts as a link among the various stakeholders from CHU, CSSS and the various other hospital centres while making sure they keep sick children and their families at the heart of their priorities.

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Updated on 2/24/2016
Created on 3/6/2015
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