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'Comfort' Now Available to Caregivers of Ohio's Seriously-Ill Children
Date:3/17/2009

AKRON, Ohio, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Help is now just a phone call away for parents, pediatricians, home care and hospice nurses and other medical professionals caring for any child in Ohio with a life-threatening, chronic, rare or complex illness.

The Comfort Line is a medical advice and referral service provided by Akron Children's Hospital with the assistance of the Ohio Pediatric Palliative Care and End of Life Network (OPPEN).

Toll-free phone calls are accepted Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-866-315-6327.

"We started the Comfort Line because we recognize that pediatric palliative care services are primarily located in the major metropolitan areas of the state and there are many families caring for infants, children and teens with serious and life-threatening conditions in rural areas throughout Ohio," said OPPEN founder Sarah Friebert, MD, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist and director of the Haslinger Family Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children's Hospital.

Dr. Friebert expects the Comfort Line to field questions related to pediatric pain and symptom management, chronic illnesses and end-of-life issues. The phone service will also be able to provide referrals to the nearest pediatric palliative care and hospice providers, community agencies and other resources.

Calls might concern a need for family support as a child's serious illness affects everyone in the family and even his or her community. Related services may include a psychologist or chaplain who can work with siblings, a social worker who can help parents with health insurance issues, or a home care nurse who can administer certain procedures at home, thus saving the family frequent trips to the hospital.

Pediatric palliative care, an emerging subspecialty in pediatric health care, focuses on managing symptoms and addressing the needs of the whole family,
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SOURCE Akron Children?s Hospital
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