Enhancing the Quality of Life for Children with Life-Threatening Conditions or Injuries
Experts at the Center for Pediatric Palliative Care at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital are specially trained to offer a variety of services to enhance the quality of life for children threatened by serious illness.
Working alongside primary care doctors and other clinicians on the child’s health care team, the Center for Pediatric Palliative Care specialists help with:
- Providing access to community services
- Relieving pain and other symptoms related to diagnosis and treatment of disease and disorders
- Navigating the complexities of the health care system
- Making difficult medical decisions
- Understanding complicated health issues
Any child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or injury can benefit from these services. In addition to UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital, palliative care is available at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and includes outpatient and at-home visitation services. The team can help whether the prognosis is a full recovery, involves managing a long-term condition or requires end-of-life care.
Patients that benefit may include:
- A baby in the womb diagnosed with a life-threatening condition
- A premature baby delivered in an emergency
- An accident victim
- A child diagnosed with a life-threatening disease
- An adult managing a disease that began in childhood
Specialized Care that Is Easily Accessible
The Center for Pediatric Palliative Care is the only pediatric palliative service in the Cleveland area with a fellowship-trained, subspecialty physician.
The team also includes a program coordinator who specializes in child advocacy and a nurse practitioner. The team can provide access to art therapists, social workers and child life specialists as needed.
To access palliative care services, families should ask their primary care physician for a referral. In addition, any UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital staff member can make a referral.
Immediate Help for Children and Families
Unlike hospice, which works to comfort those nearing the end of life, pediatric palliative care is often delivered while doctors are working toward a cure or long-term relief. The best time to consult the experts at the Center for Pediatric Palliative Care is immediately after the diagnosis of a life-threatening or life-limiting illness, injury or condition.
Our goal is to help patients and families cope on three levels: medical, emotional and spiritual. We do this in many ways. The grieving process, for example, can begin at the time of diagnosis. Our palliative care team offers compassionate support to patients and families as they experience grief and other emotions. We also seek to help families bridge the medical and spiritual worlds in a way that makes sense to them. As we strive to build supportive relationships with patients and families, our team is available to provide the assistance needed.