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Adv Neonatal Care. 2012 Feb;12(1):28-36. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0b013e318244031c.

A model program for perinatal palliative services.

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St Joseph Hospice, St Joseph Perinatal Comfort Care, St Joseph Hospital, Orange, California 92863, USA.


Despite the fact that parents of infants with lethal anomalies may not want "full-blown" medical care for their infants after birth, most such infants die in neonatal intensive care units. Although neonatal nurses are trained to administer life-saving treatments, they may suffer from moral distress when faced with caring for babies with incompatible-with-life conditions. This article describes a Perinatal Comfort Care program in which (a) care is provided at the time of diagnoses/antenatally and includes home visits by members of an interdisciplinary hospice team; (b) care is collaborative, community-based, and family-centered, and takes place in labor and delivery and on the mother baby unit; and (c) follow-up to the family continues for 1 year after the death. Neonatal nurses can become involved either by initiating efforts to form a perinatal comfort care program or by joining an existing team.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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