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Pediatr Ann. 2004 Nov;33(11):770-7.

Providing palliative care for newborns.

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Division of Neonatology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232-2370, USA.


Palliative care principles may be applied in the NICU, may be necessary, and may benefit from the contributions of community pediatricians who have a relationship with families undergoing these tragic circumstances. Clinicians across varied disciplines can cooperate to provide an environment in the delivery room or NICU where palliative care can be integrated into patient and family care plans regardless of whether the treatment goal is obtaining a cure, prolonging life, or exclusively palliation and comfort until an expected death. Regardless of the site of care, the best interests of the patient remain the focus of such care. This care should be consistent with the goals and preferences of the family, and respectful of their culture and faith traditions. The physical comfort of the infant and the emotional, psychosocial, and spiritual well-being of his/her family (including siblings and grandparents) all require active management and support. Finally, bereavement support should be provided following an infant's death to help families integrate their loss into their lives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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