Translating Research to Practice: Providing Critically Ill Children the Opportunity to Go Home or to Hospice for End-of-Life Care

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Abstract

Background:

A freestanding quaternary pediatric hospital in New England has been facilitating parents’ requests to take their child home or to a hospice facility from an Intensive Care Unit at end of life for the withdrawal of life sustaining measures for the past 16 years. However, knowledge of the aftermath of this decision was very limited. Before responding to a growing interest in making this service more available, an exploratory study was done to learn about the parents’ perceptions of the experience over time. We learned that the parents were very positive and highly recommending that pediatric palliative transports be made more available.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to describe the steps and rationale used to create a structured platform for pediatric palliative transports, drawing on findings from a previous study.

Outcomes:

To standardize the process, describe distinct responsibilities, and ensure quality and safety, an algorithm was created. The development of a checklist followed to enable the coordinator to follow the status of preparation for the transport. Empowered by parents’ requests and positive reflections, these transports are now offered more frequently to parents of children requiring care in an intensive care unit at end of life.

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