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

when a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or chronic condition. Palliative care professionals can help coordinate care and assist with the psychosocial, emotional, spiritual and financial needs of the family.

Since Akron Children's began its pediatric palliative care program in 2002, Dr. Friebert and her team have cared for more than 800 infants, children and teens with serious medical issues. The team also assists families with a life-threatening prenatal diagnosis.

"Sometimes we like to explain pediatric palliative care by saying what it is not," said Dr. Friebert. "It is not about giving up on a child, losing hope or forgoing cure-directed care in order to receive comfort care. It's not one-size-fits-all medicine. We often work with families who have children with complex medical needs and need help with care coordination. For us, it's an honor and a privilege to work with these families."

Parents and caregivers with questions can call the Comfort Line, which connects to Ask Children's, a free parent information hotline staffed by trained pediatric nurses. The call with then be connected with an on-call pediatric palliative care physician or advanced practice nurse affiliated with OPPEN.

In addition to Akron Children's, OPPEN-members providing on-call staff for the Comfort Line include pediatric palliative care professionals from Cincinnati Children's Hospital and StarShine Hospice, Dayton Children's Hospital and Care and Comfort Program, Hospice of the Western Reserve, Nationwide Children's Hospital and Hospice, MetroHealth Medical Center, St. Vincent Mercy Children's Hospital, and Toledo Children's Hospital.

Over time, Dr. Friebert hopes to expand the hours of the Comfort Line to a 24/7 operation.


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SOURCE Akron Children?s Hospital
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