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Symptom Management in Pediatric Palliative Care 

Symptom Management in Pediatric Palliative Care
Chapter:
Symptom Management in Pediatric Palliative Care
Author(s):

Joan “Jody” Chrastek

, and Camara van Breemen

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190862374.003.0058
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date: 18 October 2019

Pediatric symptom management can be complex and challenging, but, when done well, it improves quality of life significantly. Assessment of symptoms should be started at the diagnosis of a life-threatening condition and continued throughout the trajectory of the condition or disease. Treatment methods of each symptom depend on the reversibility of the symptom, disease trajectory, and family goals of care. Both nonpharmacological and pharmacological interventions should be employed. Decisions should be made jointly between the healthcare team and the parents/caregivers. Cultural norms and traditions need to be respected and adhered to when possible. Palliative care should be holistic, addressing not only the physical but also the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects. This chapter provides an overview of managing common symptoms of dyspnea, excessive secretions, nausea/vomiting, constipation, and neurological issues. A list of websites, guidelines, and sample algorithms are included for further information.

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