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Children with chronic and life-threatening conditions sometimes experience pain, nausea, depression and other symptoms as a result of the illness or as a side effect of treatment. When a child is suffering from a serious illness, managing his or her pain and symptoms is a top concern. Pain and symptom management eases discomfort and improves symptoms.
As part of palliative care, the pain and symptom management service is provided to children with chronic and life-threatening conditions on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Your child's care team will assess his or her symptoms and level of discomfort on a regular basis to ensure everything is being done to improve quality of life.
The palliative care team at Riley at IU Health may recommend the following to manage your child's pain and symptoms:
Pain and symptom management starts by assessing how your child is feeling. This includes monitoring behavior and physiological signs as well as asking your child to rate his or her discomfort and symptoms on a scale.
Depending on the level and type of pain, your child's care team can offer a range of medicines to help relieve pain, including:
Symptom management also includes monitoring and adjusting diet, nutrition, activities, emotional condition and sleep. For children suffering from emotional side effects (including depression) antidepressants may be prescribed.
The goal is to help your child feel pain-free and as physically and mentally well as possible throughout his or her illness.