Children with life-threatening illnesses face a blur of doctor visits, scans and tests. While the quest for a cure continues, Children's of Mississippi - a part of University of Mississippi Medical Center - offers an alternate, yet integrated approach to caring for these children. The pediatric palliative care program offered through Batson Children's Hospital focuses on providing the best possible quality of life for patients and their families.
Established in 2009, the program is led by one of less than 50 pediatricians nationwide to be board certified in palliative medicine. The specially trained staff, including chaplains, social workers, child life specialists, nurses, a pediatric pharmacist and a nurse practitioner, cares for young patients with incurable, complex conditions as well as those with curable conditions compounded by multiple symptoms. It includes inpatient care as well as an outpatient service for any pediatric specialty caring for young patients with life-threatening or incurable conditions. The pediatric palliative care team works much like a case manager, a common thread, to coordinate the complex health care of these children.
Palliative care is a relatively recent addition to the medical world. It began as an outgrowth of hospice care, but unlike hospice care, palliative care can be administered concurrently with curative care. Hospice patients have usually declined further curative treatment and are predicted to have less than six months to live.
Palliative care begins at diagnosis and follows a patient and family throughout curative treatment and beyond, regardless of where their medical journey leads. According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, pediatric palliative care is both a philosophy and an organized treatment option for children with life-threatening conditions. Central to the philosophy is the notion that pain is not just physical, but often psychological, spiritual or psychosocial as well.
Children's of Mississippi's multidisciplinary team manages not only physical discomfort and symptoms, such as severe nausea, pain or weight loss, but also offers support for patients and families dealing with the emotional pain of depression or changes in family dynamics surrounding your child’s life-changing illness.
- Care coordination
- Case consultation
- Inpatient care at Batson Children's Hospital
- Outpatient follow-up clinic
- Palliative medicine
- Integrative therapies
- Psychosocial counseling
- Bereavement counseling
Information or appointments
For more information about our palliative care program or to make an appointment, call (601) 815-9347.