Palliative Care

CHOICES A Pediatric Palliative Care Program

Our CHOICES palliative care team consists of a board certified Pediatric Palliative Care Physician and a dedicated pediatric nurse practitioner with extensive palliative care experience. We work in conjunction with the patientís care team to assist.

We work with patients and families to establish and support goals of care that fit within each individual familyís value system. Being a support service, we try to minimize additional medical appointments by visiting families in the hospital, in the office (ours or subspecialists), and in the community (including home visits).

Frequently asked questions:

What is Pediatric Palliative Care?
Pediatric palliative care focuses on providing relief of symptoms, pain, and the stress of a chronic life limiting illness. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for children and their families facing chronic, life-long and/or life-altering diseases/conditions.

How is this different from Hospice/end of life?
Hospice cares for patients who have less than 6 months to live. Patients enrolled in Hospice programs have chosen to allow natural death. Although we do provide care at end of life including Hospice for pediatric patients, the majority of our patients are alive more than 1 year after being involved in our program.

When should a patient be referred?
Referral should be made at the time of diagnosis of a life limiting or life-altering illness/condition. This includes prenatal diagnosis. By establishing a relationship early on in the medical journey, we are better able to assure the familyís goals of care are supported.

What diseases would be considered appropriate?
◆ Advanced or progressive cancer or cancer with a poor prognosis
◆ Complex and severe congenital or acquired heart disease
◆ Trauma or sudden severe illness
◆ Extreme prematurity
◆ Cystic fibrosis
◆ Severe immunodeficiencies
◆ Chronic or severe respiratory failure
◆ Renal failure (non-transplant candidates)
◆ Muscular dystrophy, myopathies, neuropathies
◆ Severe short gut, TPN-dependent
◆ Progressive severe metabolic disorders, (e.g. metachromatic leukodystrophy, Tay-Sachs disease, severe mitochondrial disorders)
◆ Certain chromosomal disorders, (e.g. Trisomy 13 and 18)
◆ Severe osteogenesis imperfecta subtypes
◆ Severe cerebral palsy
◆ Prematurity with residual multi-organ dysfunction or severe chronic pulmonary disability
◆ Multiple disabilities following brain or spinal cord infectious, anoxic or hypoxic insult or injury
◆ Severe brain malformations, (e.g. holoprosencephaly, anencephaly)

Who can refer a patient?
We accept referrals from families, physicians, nurses, and community support systems.

How to contact us?
To set up a new outpatient referral, please call 315-464-5294.

Contact Information

Upstate Cancer Center Maps and Directions
Address: 750 East Adams Street, Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone: 315 464-5294
Website: CHOICES A Pediatric Palliative Care Program
Insurance Info: Pediatric Service Group, LLP

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