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Children and families come first.

Pediatric Palliative Care

As your child faces a serious illness, UNC Children’s can provide an additional layer of family-centered support and care. The Children’s Supportive Care Team is here to help with specialized palliative care services focused on improving overall quality of life for your child and the entire family.

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. The team is available to help at any stage of an illness and will partner with you and the other teams involved in your child’s care to address 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
  • Explore your goals for your child’s medical care
  • Assist with planning for future medical care
  • Support you as you make decisions about your child’s medical care
  • Give support to children, parents, and siblings
  • Plan for transition home from the hospital
  • Assist with end of life care planning, including transition to hospice for families who chose hospice care

Should I Ask For a Consultation?

The Children’s Supportive Care Team is available to see seriously ill children hospitalized at UNC Children’s Hospital. We have some availability in the outpatient clinic setting as well. Your child’s medical team may suggest a consult:

  • At the time of diagnosis of a serious illness
  • If symptoms are difficult to control
  • If you are facing complex decisions about your child’s medical care
  • If your child has a serious illness that is impacting quality of life
  • If your child is nearing end of life

You are also welcome to ask your child’s medical team about a consult with the Children’s Supportive Care Team if you feel your child/your family may benefit from meeting with the team.

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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