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Vulnerability factors for acceptance of children with cerebral palsy

Around 18% of children with cerebral palsy die in childhood.

Acceptance criteria for children’s hospices usually require the child to be likely to be life limited by the age of 25 years. This means that it is likely that only around a quarter of all children with cerebral palsy will be accepted.

Selecting the children most in need of specialist palliative care poses a challenge, in view of the unpredictability and uncertainty in the natural history of the condition. Most children succumb to respiratory illness, severe epilepsy or gastrointestinal problems.

The chart is informed by evidence-based vulnerability factors, according to survival studies in acquired static brain injury. It can be used as a guide when considering referring children.

With thanks to Helen & Douglas House for this resource, which is available as a free download on this page.