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Semin Neonatol. 2003 Apr;8(2):177-83.

Home management of the dying NICU patient.

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Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK.


Intensive aggressive medical therapy does not always result in cure. For some neonates it is a futile exercise that may prolong a short life of suffering. In this article, we will discuss the babies for whom aggressive therapy may not be appropriate, and how home centered palliative care can be effectively managed. We will outline the holistic multidisciplinary approach to care, with the parents as primary carers, empowered to make informed choices in the medical care of their dying baby. Symptom management will be discussed, based on the experience of an established palliative care team. We will also look at the practical and emotional preparation for death and bereavement support for the family. We hope that more families will be given the opportunity to spend time at home with their dying baby and that, through appropriate care and support, the memory of this time will be treasured.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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