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Management of respiratory symptoms in paediatric palliative care

Craig, Finella; Henderson, Ellen M.; Bluebond-Langner, Myra

Current Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care: September 2015 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 217–226
doi: 10.1097/SPC.0000000000000154
RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS: Edited by David C. Currow and Miriam J. Johnson
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Purpose of review Respiratory symptoms in children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions are common, distressing and have a lasting impact, yet there is a paucity of evidence to guide clinicians in their management. This article makes a series of recommendations for the management of the most frequent and distressing respiratory symptoms encountered in paediatrics (dyspnoea, cough, haemoptysis and retained secretions) with attention to the evidence from research.

Recent findings There are very few paediatric studies exploring any aspect of respiratory symptoms in paediatric palliative care, so much of the evidence base has been drawn from adult studies, few of which have been published in the past 12–18 months.

Summary In the absence of well designed paediatric studies we need to judiciously apply what we can extrapolate from adult studies to each child we are treating; selecting interventions and approaches carefully, adjusting them when there is no evidence of individual benefit.

aThe Louis Dundas Centre for Children's Palliative Care, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust

bThe Louis Dundas Centre for Children's Palliative Care, UCL-Institute of Child Health, London, UK

cRutgers University, Camden, New Jersey, USA

Correspondence to Dr Finella Craig, The Louis Dundas Centre for Children's Palliative Care, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3JH, UK. Tel: +44 20 7829 8678; e-mail: finella.craig@gosh.nhs.uk

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