Primary Palliative Care In The Neonatal Intensive Care Setting: What Is Possible? What Is Necessary?


Primary Palliative Care In The Neonatal Intensive Care Setting: What Is Possible? What Is Necessary?


English N; Ferrell B; Marc-Aurele K




Journal Of Pain And Symptom Management




Reflect on current neonatal intensive care practice
for the seriously ill and or dying neonate.
Explore the role of the primary palliative care
Discuss palliative educational goals for intensive
care clinicians.
Introduction: This session will be an interactive discussion
with presenters (parent, palliative care nurse scientist/educator/author/neonatologist/palliative
pediatric nurse consultant). Our assumption is that
primary palliative care is integral to the life-supporting
care of neonates and their families on admission to
the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Background: In keeping with the recommendations of
the 2014 Institute of Medicine’s Dying in America
report, primary palliative care must be included in
the basic curriculum for every clinician who cares for
patients with advanced or serious illness. Clinicians
practicing in the NICU fall squarely in this category
as demonstrated by the life-supporting measures
required by sick newborns while addressing the vulnerable
traumatized emotional state of parents, especially
mothers. Few parents are able to grasp the enormity of
the situations they are now facing.
Two-thirds of infant deaths (birth-1 year) occur in the
neonatal period (birth-28 days). Other neonates
remain with a significant degree of prognostic uncertainty,
hovering between life and death for weeks or
months. If an infant dies, parents are often unprepared
and, in turn, the intensive care team is unprepared
to respond to the intense suffering of parents.
Facilitated discussion: (Questions for discussion
will be addressed as time allows.)
What is the role of a primary palliative care clinician
practicing in an intensive care setting?
Are there core primary palliative care educational
outcomes that are specific to any intensive care
Is the implementation of a primary palliative curriculum
a possibility in the current intensive care
Summary: Session facilitators will summarize the discussion
points and share with attendees via e-mail if requested.


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Citation List Month

March 2016 List


English N; Ferrell B; Marc-Aurele K, “Primary Palliative Care In The Neonatal Intensive Care Setting: What Is Possible? What Is Necessary?,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 17, 2022,

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