American Family Children's Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, is committed to excellent palliative care for children, whether a child has just been diagnosed, is in active treatment, has completed therapy, or is nearing the end of life. Palliative care medicine treats the whole child and family, aiming to meet the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the patient and family.
Goals of Palliative Care
Our goal is to enhance the quality of life for the child and the family by:
- Preventing or minimizing suffering while increasing function for the child
- Reducing symptoms caused by both the child's disease and its therapy
- Supporting patients and families at times of illness, transition and loss
- Helping family members provide support to patients and each other
Palliative Care Purpose
Though palliative care is most often associated with end-of-life care, it more often should be part of the treatment of any person with a serious, life-threatening, or life-limiting medical condition for which a patient-centered approach, pain and symptom control, family involvement and compassionate care are needed.
Ideally, palliative care begins early in the course of a life-limiting illness. In providing palliative care, the team brings a model of care based on six major skill sets. These skill sets, according to the Institute of Medicine, are the essence of palliative medicine:
- Advanced care planning
- Management of the complications of treatment and disease
- Symptom control
- Psychosocial care of the patient and family
- Care of the dying
Resources for Families