Palliative care, resuscitation status, and end-of-life considerations in pediatric anesthesia.

  • Introductory summary for those paediatric anaesthetists who may not conduct end-of-life conversations routinely but does not really provide a practical framework.
  • WHO defines palliative care as an approach that “improves quality of life of patients and their families facing a life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering”. It further states that for children, palliative care should begin when a serious illness is diagnosed.
  • Domains of interdisciplinary paediatric palliative care:
    • Goals of care
    • Advanced care planning
    • Pain and symptom management
    • Care coordination
    • End of life assessment and management
  • Shared-decision making (SDM) is the cornerstone of palliative care.
  • Communication around serious illness should be treated as a procedure that can be deconstructed into its parts, taught, and rehearsed.


Reviewed by Dr. Philip Cheung