Continuous deep sedation at the end of life in children with cancer: experience at a single center in Japan

Title

Continuous deep sedation at the end of life in children with cancer: experience at a single center in Japan

Creator

Maeda S; Kato I; Umeda K; Hiramatsu H; Takita J; Adachi S; Tsuneto S

Publisher

Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Date

2020

Subject

end of life; Palliative sedation; decision-making; ability in daily living; respite sedation

Description

Continuous deep sedation (CDS) is used to alleviate unbearable and otherwise refractory symptoms in patients dying of cancer. No data are available concerning CDS in children from Japan to date. This study primarily aimed to describe experience in CDS in child cancer patients at Kyoto University Hospital. The secondary aims were to identify the characteristics of patients who received CDS, and to assess ability in daily living at the end of life. A retrospective chart review was performed for child cancer patients who died at the institute between 2008 and 2017. The data of 35 patients were analyzed. Nine (26%) patients had received CDS. Indications for CDS were dyspnea (56%), agitation (22%), seizures (22%), and pain (11%). Midazolam was used in all nine cases. In eight (89%) patients, opioids were also prescribed. In seven (78%) patients, CDS was performed for < 48 hours. In all nine cases, consent was obtained from the parent(s) but not from the children. CDS was more likely in patients with solid tumors (p = 0.018) and those who had received no respite sedation (p = 0.002). Patients without central nervous system symptoms tended to maintain their capacity for oral intake and verbal communication until a few days prior to death. This is the first report on CDS in child cancer patients from Japan. In the CDS literature, cross-study differences are evident for incidence, target symptoms, duration, and the decision-making process. Further international discussion is warranted concerning indications for CDS and the decision-making process.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

Oncology 2020 List

Collection

Citation

Maeda S; Kato I; Umeda K; Hiramatsu H; Takita J; Adachi S; Tsuneto S, “Continuous deep sedation at the end of life in children with cancer: experience at a single center in Japan,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 16, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17386.

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