Alert

Palliative care addresses important concerns.

Pediatric Palliative Care

As your child faces a serious illness, UNC Children’s can provide an additional layer of family-centered support and care. Our compassionate Children’s Supportive Care Team understands the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges you’re facing, and they’re here to help with specialized palliative care services focused on improving overall quality of life for your child and the entire family during your stay at N.C. Children’s Hospital and throughout your child’s life.

Palliative care is not just end of life care. Although the Children’s Supportive Care Team can assist children and families facing a terminal illness, palliative care is an approach to medical care that focuses on improving quality of life for anyone with a serious illness. Palliative care is delivered alongside curative and life-extending treatments.

Services We Offer

The Children’s Supportive Care Team’s services complement the care your child receives from his or her primary medical team. We’re available to help at any stage of an illness and will help tailor a plan unique to your family’s needs. We can help:

  • Provide relief of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, and difficulty sleeping
  • Gather and process information about complicated medical treatments and support you and your child in decision-making
  • Establish goals for your child’s medical care
  • Plan for future medical care • Give support to children, parents, and siblings
  • Plan for transition home from the hospital
  • Create family memories
  • Ensure the best quality of life for your child
  • Assist with end of life care planning, including transition to hospice for families who chose hospice care

Should I Ask For a Consultation?

If you’re struggling, your family will benefit from the most complete medical care possible when you combine primary treatments with palliative care services. The Children’s Supportive Care Team is available at any time to all seriously ill children hospitalized at N.C. Children’s Hospital. Your child’s doctor may call upon us: •

At the time of diagnosis of a serious illness

  • When symptoms are difficult to control
  • If your child has a serious chronic illness or congenital disorder that is impacting quality of life
  • If you’re facing planning your child’s end-of-life care Children’s Supportive Care Team UNC Children’s multidisciplinary Children’s Supportive Care Team takes the time to get to know your child—and your entire family—so we can offer the best guidance to meet your unique needs. The team includes:
  • Pediatrician – Manages symptoms, assists with care planning, decision-making, and understanding medical care
  • Pediatric nurse practitioner – Manages symptoms, assists with establishing goals of care and planning for future medical care, and offers support to your family
  • Child psychologist – Treats emotional symptoms, helps children understand and adjust to illness, and offers support and resources to siblings
  • Pediatric social worker – Helps families and children cope with illness and connects you with community and financial resources
  • Child life specialist – Helps children understand and adjust to illness, supports siblings, assists with memory making and legacy projects
  • Pediatric chaplain – Offers spiritual support to children and families

Find Family-Centered Care at UNC

At UNC Children’s and N.C. Children’s Hospital, you’ll find friendly, compassionate staff who are experts at working with children and families. We’ll do our best to ease your anxiety, help you understand your child’s medical condition so you can make informed choices about their care, and offer whatever additional support you need. You can help make your experience go as smoothly as possible by exploring our patients and visitors section to learn about:

A Different Kind of Support

If your child is inpatient and you’re wondering whether palliative care is right for your family, please ask your doctor or nurse.

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