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RMU

Uruguayan Medical Journal

ISSN: 1688-0390


Vol.27 - Nº 4 - Dic. 2011

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Characteristics of a population of children hospitalized under health conditions that may need pediatric palliative care. First patients in the Pediatric Palliative Care Unit at the Pereira Rossell Hospital Center (UCPP-CHPR).

BERNADA M; DALL'ORSO P; FERNÁNDEZ G; GONZÁLEZ E; DALLO M; CAPERCHIONE F; BELLORA R; LE PERA V; CARREROU R; GUILLÉN S; FERREIRA E; GIORDANO A
Rev Med Urug 2011; 27: 220-227
Full text (spanish) |  Full text (spanish) (New windows, pdf) | Abstract

Abstract

Introduction: Law 18,335 provides that: "All individuals have the right to receive comprehensive health services ? including palliative care". The World Health Organization (WHO) defined pediatric palliative care as "a global model for health care services both for the child with a disease that limits and/or threatens his life, and his family". Pereira Rossell Hospital Center has created a Pediatric Palliative Care Unit to provide attention and train professionals in these health care services.

Objective: to describe the main characteristics of the first patients seen in the above mentioned unit.

Method: We conducted a retrospective, descriptive study of the characteristics of the children seen from December 30, 2008 through December 30, 2010, based on their files and medical records. All children hospitalized in the intermediate health care in the Department of Pediatrics were included in the study.

Results: 87 patients were seen, 54 of them were girls.

Median age was three years old (ranging from 28 days until 16 years old). Health conditions requiring palliative care were varied, mainly non-progressive severe neurological disorders. The most frequent cause of hospitalization was respiratory infections, although several other biological, psychological and social problems were seen.

25% of the children died, most of them in the hospital.

Conclusions: pediatric palliative care is a right. Thus, all health professionals working with children must be familiar with the problems presented and receive training for a comprehensive approach of the condition, since it is an obligation of the health system to guarantee this right.