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J Child Neurol. 2013 Jan;28(1):40-4. doi: 10.1177/0883073812439345. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

A review of pediatric palliative care service utilization in children with a progressive neuromuscular disease who died on a palliative care program.

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University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.


Recent studies and consensus statements have expressed the need to involve palliative care services in the care of children with progressive neuromuscular diseases (PMD), yet there have been no reviews of the utilization of palliative care services by children who died on a palliative care program. We conducted a retrospective chart review of all children who had a PMD who died on a single-center palliative care program. Twenty cases were identified. Services utilized by these patients included respite care, transition services, pain and symptom management, and end-of-life care. Prominent symptoms in the last 24 hours of life included respiratory distress, pain, nausea/vomiting, and anxiety; however, symptom management was very good. Utilization of services differed depending on the disease trajectory, with respite playing a critical role in the care of children with PMD. Good symptom management can be achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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