CPD Articles

Paediatric palliative care for the generalist

Julia F. Ambler, Christoffel H. Bell
South African Family Practice | Vol 65, No 1 : Part 2| a5722 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v65i1.5722 | © 2023 Julia F. Ambler, Christoffel H. Bell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 February 2023 | Published: 20 April 2023

About the author(s)

Julia F. Ambler, Umduduzi - Hospice Care for Children, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Christoffel H. Bell, Butterfly Palliative Home, Ingwavuma, South Africa; and, Department of Health, Faculty of Family Medicine, Mosvold Hospital, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Ingwavuma, South Africa

Abstract

Palliative care has been defined as ‘the active holistic care of individuals across all ages with serious health-related suffering due to severe illness, and especially of those near the end of life’. Unfortunately, palliative care and especially paediatric palliative care remain a neglected area of medicine and are widely misunderstood, with few healthcare providers having any formal training in South Africa. To relieve health-related suffering, healthcare providers must understand that the field is not limited to end-of-life care for the terminally ill, and holistic care (physical, emotional, social and spiritual) should commence at the time of diagnosis of a serious illness. It is imperative that all healthcare providers develop the knowledge and skills to provide this essential care across all levels of care and disciplines. The article aims to raise awareness and show how to practically implement palliative care through case studies.

Keywords

paediatric; paediatric palliative care; holistic care; health-related suffering; physical; psychological; social; spiritual; disability; life-limiting illness

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