Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

[Paediatric Palliative Care: What is different in children compared to adults?]

Journal title
Therapeutische Umschau. Revue therapeutique
Publication year
2018
Author(s)
Bergstrasser, E.
Pages
101-104
Volume
75
Number
2

Paediatric Palliative Care: What is different in children compared to adults? Abstract. The number of children and adolescents (0 – 18 years) with life-limiting conditions and needs for paediatric palliative care (PPC) is rising. In Switzerland, the awareness for these needs lags largely behind other developed countries. In the United Kingdom, the prevalence for children with life-limiting conditions and PPC needs was estimated at 32 children per 10’000 population (0 – 19 years). In Switzerland, this would correspond to an absolute number of 5’000 children living with a life-limiting condition and potentially in need of PPC. In contrast, the number of deaths accounts for around 500 children (0 – 18 years) every year. Most common causes of death are perinatal conditions, contributing to nearly 50 % of all deaths in childhood, followed by accidents and complex chronic conditions such as genetic / congenital disorders, neurological and cardiac conditions and cancer. Compared to adults with palliative care needs, the group of children is significantly smaller but at the same time highly heterogenic. Heterogeneity relates to: the whole age continuum from neonates, infants and children to adolescents; a broad spectrum of diseases including rare diseases; a variety of needs due to age, development and the illness, e. g. needs for specialist care or technical support; various in- and outpatient settings. Paediatric care always encompasses the whole family and their particular needs. Internationally, hospital-based programmes have been developed and implemented to meet these particular needs of children and their families.

Research abstracts