Neonatal palliative care
AbstractPurpose of review
A significant number of newborns are affected by life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. When prolongation of survival is no longer a goal, or prognosis is uncertain, a plan of care focused on the infant's comfort is essential. The aim of this article is to review the most recent and relevant literature regarding neonatal palliative care (NPC).Recent findings
A variety of perinatal and NPC programs are described, but most programs focus exclusively on end-of-life care. Moreover, there is a great need to standardize practices and obtain follow-up quality measures.Recent findings
Guidelines to address infants’ basic needs, to achieve a state of comfort, are proposed. A multidisciplinary team addressing the infants’ medical and nonmedical needs, parental grieving process, and providers’ distress is recommended.Summary
NPC is a unique multidisciplinary approach for the care of newborns affected by life-limiting or complex medical conditions with uncertain prognosis. Standardized guidelines should be implemented with the goal of achieving a state of comfort for newborns throughout the course of illness. Further studies are warranted to assess whether NPC effectively promotes newborns’ comfort and parents and providers’ satisfaction.