Palliative care is specialized, additional medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is centered around providing relief from the symptoms and stress of illness to enhance quality of life. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Palliative care is based on the needs of the patient, not on the patient’s prognosis. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment. Palliative care is adjacent to hospice and end-of-life care, but it is not actual end of life care.
CHOC’s Palliative Care program aims to enhance the level of support and reduce the amount of suffering experienced by patients with complex medical conditions, as well as for the people who love them and the healthcare team that cares for them.
The Palliative Care Team supports patients by:
- Providing initial consultations and follow up encounters in the hospital, OPI, and other clinics
- Easing pain and managing symptoms and side effects
- Fostering communication between families and health care providers
- Identifying goals of and aligning all involved with the medical care plan
- Delivering effective educational programs to healthcare staff
As the only children’s hospital in Orange County with a pediatric palliative care program, this team is available to provide care in the inpatient and outpatient setting, in partnership with other healthcare providers.
A palliative care consultation is appropriate for patients with serious illnesses who would benefit from enhanced symptom and, or pain management and an increased focus on improving quality of life and family support. During a consultation, families and members from our care team would discuss the goals of care, care preferences, advanced care planning and any spiritual and/or psycho-social distress.