End-of-life issues in the paediatric intensive care unit


End-of-life issues in the paediatric intensive care unit


Medani S; Brierley J


Paediatrics and Child Health




end-of-life; life-sustaining therapy; paediatric intensive care; palliative; withdrawal


Recent changes in paediatrics with the growing provision of life-sustaining interventions in both complex and rare diseases have increased the prevalence of chronic and life-limiting conditions in children. This has, in turn, led to changes in the population of children cared for and, consequently, the modes of death in paediatric intensive care units. In many countries, children with chronic conditions now constitute a large proportion of both admissions to paediatric intensive care units and the deaths occurring there. Managing end-of-life decisions and care is an integral part of practice and constitutes an imperative skill for all professionals working in paediatric intensive care. The process of end-of-life care involves many uncertainties and ethical, legal, religious, cultural and social considerations. A child's death will always be a tragic and challenging experience, but the way it is managed can influence the impact it has on everyone involved. This article provides a review of the issues surrounding the end-of-life process for patients in paediatric intensive care units and explores the challenges and considerations involved in decision-making to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining therapy. We discuss the practicalities of managing and optimising end-of-life care within and beyond the paediatric intensive care unit and the different aspects that healthcare teams need to address before and after a child's death. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd


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Citation List Month

May 2021 List



Medani S; Brierley J, “End-of-life issues in the paediatric intensive care unit,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed May 22, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17542.