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[Retrospective study of children referred from paediatric intensive care to palliative care: Why and for what]

Journal title
Anales de pediatria (Barcelona, Spain : 2003)
Publication year
Garcia-Salido, A.; Santos-Herranz, P.; Puertas-Martin, V.; Garcia-Teresa, M. A.; Martino-Alba, R.; Serrano-Gonzalez, A.

INTRODUCTION: The creation of paediatric palliative care units (PPCU) could optimise the management of children with palliative focus after admission to a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). This study describes the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of children referred from PICU to the PPCU of the Autonomous Community of Madrid (CAM). The overall treatment, relapses, re-admissions, and deaths, if occurred, are described. PATIENTS AND METHOD: A retrospective review was performed using the medical records from children transferred from the CAM paediatric intensive care units to the paediatric palliative care unit (1 March 2008-31 January 2015). RESULTS: A total of 41 patients were included (26 male/15 female) with a median age of 33 months (range 1-228). In the follow by the PPCU follow-up, the main approaches were respiratory (invasive ventilation with tracheostomy tube 8/41), nutritional (gastrostomy in 20/41), and pharmacological (anti-epileptics in 29/41 and 34/41 on antibiotic treatment). Hospital re-admission was required by 11/41 patients, with no re-admissions to PICU. Of the 13/41 patients who died, 9/13 was at home, with all of them accompanied by the primary caregivers and family, and only 1/9 with the presence of the home team. CONCLUSIONS: The palliative approach at home is feasible in children, and the integration of PPCU could optimise the comprehensive care of previously critically ill children. It is necessary to achieve an optimal domiciliary care should be achieved, and not just because of patient death. More observational, multicentre and prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Research abstracts