Palliative Care :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

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Palliative Care

Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers Palliative Care Services to children and families either in the hospital or in their homes with the goal of helping patients achieve the best possible quality of life. We are a team of experts that provides your family with support, counseling, and world-class care. The team is purposely an add-on service, in addition to your child’s current health care team, to ensure that your child receives the necessary care and comfort when faced with a life–threatening and/or life-limiting condition. Our team consists of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers and chaplains to provide both palliative and hospice care depending upon the needs of the patients and families.


What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is the medical specialty that provides medical, psychosocial, and spiritual support to patients with life-threatening conditions and their families.  Palliative care is designed to work alongside your primary medical team and specialists to assist in understanding and choosing medications, surgeries, and therapies with the hope of cure or extending the length of a child’s life. We seek to ensure that patients and families feels knowledgeable about treatments being offered and that the treatment plan chosen accurately reflects the concerns and needs of the patient and his or her family.  This may include helping with pain control or other symptoms, providing spiritual support during a difficult day, or it may mean openly discussing what the  benefits and burdens of a therapy include so that a patient and family feels maximally educated and supported when making a decision.

Where Do We Offer Services?

We offer services in your home as well as inpatient services when your child is hospitalized.  For more information regarding home-based services, please click here.  If you seek information regarding our hospital-based services, please click here.

Who Do We Serve?

We serve patients facing life-threatening conditions and their families who seek extra support in symptom management, emotional support, and if needed, end of life care.  We support patients with congenital heart disease, multiple complex health care issues, cystic fibrosis, cancer, intractable epilepsy, and many more illnesses that impact a child’s quality of life and may also shorten a child’s life.

If you feel that our services may help your child and family and yet, are uncertain if a referral to palliative care is appropriate, please do not hesitate to call and speak to an expert at (614) 722-3710.

What is Hospice?

Hospice is a medical specialty that provides symptom management, emotional support, and spiritual support to patients receiving end of life care and their families. Palliative Care is NOT Hospice Care.

We know the two terms can be confusing.  Pediatric palliative care can begin at any time – from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond.  Our care can be delivered alongside curative treatments.  Although prognosis can sometimes be uncertain, our teams are available to help guide and support your family through the journey, no matter the outcome.  Every child is unique, and we may every effort to ensure that his or her care reflects the individualized care your family deserves.

Learn more about our Hospice Care Program.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Palliative care may be right for your child if he or she suffers from a chronic, complex, and/or potentially life-limiting condition that may be accompanied by one or more of the following issues:

  • Burdensome symptoms (i.e. pain, nausea, vomiting, seizures, etc.)
  • Burdensome treatments
  • More frequent hospitalizations
  • Requiring assistance with care coordination because a complex condition is causing fragmented care and/or challenges with communication between multiple healthcare providers

If you’re unsure about whether or not your child could benefit from palliative care services, please reach out to us. We would be happy to talk with you and together decide what’s best for your child and family. 



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No. We encourage all of your child’s care providers to continue their support for your child and family. Our Palliative Care team will work with your child’s primary team to coordinate care, always respecting your family’s wishes. Consider our team to be an added layer of support.



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Please ask your inpatient team to place a consult for the “Advanced Illness Management Team” or “AIM Team”. We will gladly come to your child’s hospital room, meet you and your child, and begin to craft an individualized care plan that best suits your families’ values and goals of care in partnership with your primary team.



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If you are seeking palliative care in the home, please [click here] for more information about whether home-based palliative care is available in your area and for more information about the referral process.



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Our teams are trained to work with infants, children, adolescents, and young adults, taking into consideration every patient’s unique developmental needs. Thus, any patient with a chronic and/or life-limiting condition being served by Nationwide Children’s Hospital is eligible for a palliative care consultation. We will develop a care plan specific to your child’s age and needs.



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There is not a defined list for eligibility. We seek to work with any child and family facing a life-threatening or potentially life-limiting condition. If you think we can be helpful, please seek us out and we can decide together if your child could currently benefit from palliative care.



Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000