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Pediatric Palliative Care - Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is palliative care?

Palliative care can alleviate the symptoms, discomfort and stress of a chronic illness for a patient. It also can:

  • Explore goals of care to align plan of care
  • Provide emotional support that respects a family’s cultural values
  • Start open discussions about options for care

A palliative care team works with you to make a care plan, and can also help when a patient’s goals change over time

How do you know if a patient or family needs palliative care?

Patients living with a chronic or complex illness often experience physical and emotional distress related to their disease. If a patient has a genetic disorder, cancer, neurologic disorder, heart or lung condition, or another chronic or complex illness, palliative care may help reduce pain and enhance quality of life. Ask your doctor about palliative care if your child, or any member of your family:

  • Experiences physical pain or emotional distress that is not under control
  • Needs help understanding a health condition
  • Needs support coordinating patient care

How can a family get palliative care?

The palliative care process begins when a doctor refers you to palliative care services. Or, you can ask your provider for a referral if you feel that palliative care may be helpful.

If we start palliative care, can my son or daughter still see the same primary healthcare provider?

Yes. You do not have to change to a new primary healthcare provider when starting palliative care. The Arnold Palmer Hospital palliative care team and your doctor work together to help you identify the best care plan for you and your family.