Pediatric palliative care is a comprehensive approach that focuses on the psychological, social, and spiritual needs of patients with life-threatening illnesses and their family members.
Each year, more than 50,000 children die in the United States; three quarters of these deaths occur in the hospital setting. While most pediatric illnesses can be prevented or cured, some children are born with conditions or develop diseases that cannot be cured.
Pediatric palliative care can join forces with curative or life-extending care, helping to support decision-making, providing interventions to minimize symptoms causing discomfort, and facilitating care in the hospital or in the home.
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of seven hospitals nationwide participating in the Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care, an education and quality improvement effort aimed at enhancing family-centered care for children living with life-threatening conditions.