Evidence-based comfort care for neonates towards the end of life

University of Missouri-Kansas City, Bioethics Center & Section of Neonatology, Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, MO, USA. Electronic address: .
Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.03). 11/2012; 18(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.siny.2012.10.012
Source: PubMed


The provision of care to the newborn or young infant at the end of life is primarily motivated by concern and compassion. When examining the evidence base for most interventions, it is lacking - but this is not unique to this aspect of neonatal care. Nevertheless, a redirection of care from cure-oriented and life-extending measures to comfort and limitations of life-sustaining technologic interventions requires the neonatologist to apply practical knowledge skillfully and with prudence. Clinicians can acknowledge that patient needs require managing their end-of-life symptoms now; neither these patients nor their families should have to wait for research to catch up to their current needs.

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