Pain Program and Palliative Care

karunaKaruna means compassion in Sanskrit, and that is the focus of the Karuna Palliative Care Program (see definition of Palliative Care). Program staff work with a child’s physicians to provide palliative care to children with potentially life limiting conditions and their families. The focus of care is to help each child and family live fully. This is done through collaboration, support, and individualized care plans in an effort to help children reach their potential.

An interdisciplinary team offers patients continuity of care, follow-up, and early intervention through a 24-hour on-call system, nursing visits and care coordination. The team and the family work with the school, physician’s office, the county, and other social service programs to put a comprehensive care plan in place.

A primary goal is to support the child and family in their efforts at home. The program helps families pursue goals that are important to them. For some families that means improving school attendance or reducing emergency room visits and repeat hospitalizations.

As the team gets to know the child and family, resources are put into place that can support families in complex decision-making, managing medical crises, and other unexpected events.


Benefits of Karuna

Karuna1

  • Assists in child’s medical management through home visits
  • Offers families 24-hour on-call access to health care providers familiar with the child’s case
  • Emphasizes comfort care, quality of life, and satisfying relationships
  • Provides home visits by nurses, chaplains, child life, social workers, and volunteers
  • Provides spiritual, emotional, and psychosocial support for the entire family, including siblings and grandparents
  • Works with and supports school professionals
  • Ensures continuity of care over time
  • Provides bereavement follow-up care if the child dies
  • Offers ethics consultations if necessary
  • Coordinates medical and alternative therapies

For more information about Karuna, call Children’s Home Care and Hospice at (651) 220-5400.

The pain clinic at Children's of Minnesota manages chronic and recurrent pain in close collaboration with pediatric specialties.

The pain clinic provides a multidisciplinary team evaluation including the following providers:

  • Pediatric pain specialist
  • Physical therapist
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker
  • Nurse

Our focus is on helping children who are experiencing chronic pain or recurring pain.

Pain is a complex and unique experience that affects all areas of a child’s life. Whether the pain is caused by a chronic illness or has an unknown cause, it can impact relationships, school, family life, and everyday responsibilities.

Individuals and families who experience chronic pain may see an increase of hopelessness, loss of dreams and goals, increased stress, and have symptoms of depression or anxiety. Without an effective and intense intervention, the cycle can continue.

At the end of the evaluation, the team will make recommendations for immediate follow-up with the same evaluating providers and with other pediatric specialty areas as needed. These may include exercise medicine, rehabilitation medicine and integrative medicine.

Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has one of the largest pediatric pain and palliative care programs in North America, providing care for children at home, in the hospital and in clinics.

Relieving the pain and suffering of a child is crucial for the patient and the entire family. Our pain and palliative team is devoted to improving the quality of life for children who come to us. Our program utilizes a combination of state-of-the-art pharmacology, physical therapy, and integrative therapies such as massage, hypnosis, and acupuncture.


Pain and Palliative Care

Hospital-Based Pain and Palliative Care Team
Our inpatient rounding team provides care to children with acute pain, chronic pain and palliative care needs

Pain and Palliative Care Clinic
The Intradisciplinary Pain Clinic at Children's of Minnesota manages chronic and recurrent pain in close collaboration with pediatric specialties.

Home-Based Karuna Palliative Care
Program staff work with a child’s physicians to provide pain and symptom management to children with potentially life limiting conditions and their families.


Hospice

Home-Based Hospice Care
Our hospice program is the only licensed hospice in the state of Minnesota that focuses solely on children.

Deeya - Perinatal Hospice Program
Provide educational, emotional, and spiritual support to families who know their unborn child has a life-limiting condition.


Education and Outreach

Children’s Institute for Pain and Palliative Care
Our Institute provides training, continuing education, resources, consultation, and technical assistance to health care providers.

Upcoming Events:

  • 7th Annual Pediatric Pain Master Class
    Minneapolis, MN. June 7-13, 2014
    - Register here
    Scholarship application process opens November 1, 2013
    - International Scholarship Application Guidelines
    For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • 1st Annual Pediatric Integrative Medicine Master Class
    Minneapolis, MN. September 21-26, 2014
    For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Education in Palliative & End-of-life Care (EPEC): Become an EPEC-Pediatrics Trainer
    San Diego, CA. March 15-16, 2014
    For more information email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) - Palliative Care Leadership Center (PCLC) Training
    Minneapolis, MN. Jan. 8-10, 2013 / Apr. 9-11, 2013 / Jul. 23-25, 2014 / Oct. 22-24, 2014
    For more information visit: www.capc.org


A Better Life

video thumbA Better Life

After being born with a host of previously undetected birth defects, Zoë Bee was expected to live about a year. Zoë Bee's mom, Sally Spector, talks about her experience with Children's Pain and Palliative Care Program, through which her daughter was able to live at home and flourish during her short but remarkable five-and-a-half years of life.


Featured

Listen to our Medical Director, Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD, and parents Kim and Rob Lovrich speak out on Minneapolis Public Radio about pain management for terminally ill children. More is also available at minnesota.publicradio.org/

Our Commitment to Pain and Palliative Care

Our hospital-based rounding team provides care to children with acute pain, chronic pain and palliative care needs.

We believe children have the right to the best level of pain relief and symptom management that can be safely provided. Therefore, we take an interdisciplinary team approach to pain and symptom management, using drug and non-drug therapies.

The use of multiple ways of addressing discomfort gives the best results. Families too have an important role in helping to relieve the child’s discomfort.

Families have an essential role in comforting the child. Our goal is to have staff and families work together to evaluate discomfort promptly and treat it effectively. Many children have the potential to experience discomfort in the hospital.

Common causes include surgery, IV starts, tissue damage from infection, and sore muscles from being in bed. Most symptoms can be treated and relieved.

The Pain and Palliative care team wants to do all they can to relieve pain and increase comfort. We will discuss options that may work effectively for your child. If families do not feel that the discomfort is being adequately managed, they are encouraged to talk with their nurse, physician or the Pain and Palliative care team.


The Team

The team includes experts in pain and symptom management. You and your child may meet team members that include physicians, nurses, pharmacists, psychologists, child life specialists, integrative medicine staff and social workers. We will work together with you and your primary care team to provide the best plan for your child.


Referral Process

Children’s is committed to the best possible care and comfort for your child. We have a unique pain policy that states anyone can call the pain and palliative care team for a pain consult at (651) 220-5400. We mean anyone … nurse, doctor, parent, relative, or friend.