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      Pain reporting and analgesia management in 270 children with a progressive neurologic, metabolic or chromosomally based condition with impairment of the central nervous system: cross-sectional, baseline results from an observational, longitudinal study

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          Little is known about the prevalence, characterization and treatment of pain in children with progressive neurologic, metabolic or chromosomal conditions with impairment of the central nervous system. The primary aims of this study were to explore the differences between parental and clinical pain reporting in children with life-limiting conditions at the time of enrollment into an observational, longitudinal study and to determine if differences in pain experiences were associated with patient- or treatment-related factors. Pain was common, under-recognized and undertreated among the 270 children who enrolled into the “Charting the Territory” study. Children identified by their parents as experiencing pain (n=149, 55%) were older, had more comorbidities such as dyspnea/feeding difficulties, were less mobile with lower functional skills and used analgesic medications more often, compared to pain-free children. Forty-one percent of children with parent-reported pain (21.8% of all patients) experienced pain most of the time. The majority of clinicians (60%) did not document pain assessment or analgesic treatment in the medical records of patients who were experiencing pain. Documentation of pain in the medical record was positively correlated with children receiving palliative care services and being prescribed analgesics, such as acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids, as well as the adjuvant analgesics gabapentin and amitriptyline.

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          Pediatric palliative care patients: a prospective multicenter cohort study.

          To describe demographic and clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients who received hospital-based pediatric palliative care (PPC) consultations. Prospective observational cohort study of all patients served by 6 hospital-based PPC teams in the United States and Canada from January to March 2008. There were 515 new (35.7%) or established (64.3%) patients who received care from the 6 programs during the 3-month enrollment interval. Of these, 54.0% were male, and 69.5% were identified as white and 8.1% as Hispanic. Patient age ranged from less than one month (4.7%) to 19 years or older (15.5%). Of the patients, 60.4% lived with both parents, and 72.6% had siblings. The predominant primary clinical conditions were genetic/congenital (40.8%), neuromuscular (39.2%), cancer (19.8%), respiratory (12.8%), and gastrointestinal (10.7%). Most patients had chronic use of some form of medical technology, with gastrostomy tubes (48.5%) being the most common. At the time of consultation, 47.2% of the patients had cognitive impairment; 30.9% of the cohort experienced pain. Patients were receiving many medications (mean: 9.1). During the 12-month follow-up, 30.3% of the cohort died; the median time from consult to death was 107 days. Patients who died within 30 days of cohort entry were more likely to be infants and have cancer or cardiovascular conditions. PPC teams currently serve a diverse cohort of children and young adults with life-threatening conditions. In contrast to the reported experience of adult-oriented palliative care teams, most PPC patients are alive for more than a year after initiating PPC.
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            Neuropathic pain: mechanisms and their clinical implications.

            Neuropathic pain can develop after nerve injury, when deleterious changes occur in injured neurons and along nociceptive and descending modulatory pathways in the central nervous system. The myriad neurotransmitters and other substances involved in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain also play a part in other neurobiological disorders. This might partly explain the high comorbidity rates for chronic pain, sleep disorders, and psychological conditions such as depression, and why drugs that are effective for one condition may benefit others. Neuropathic pain can be distinguished from non-neuropathic pain by two factors. Firstly, in neuropathic pain there is no transduction (conversion of a nociceptive stimulus into an electrical impulse). Secondly, the prognosis is worse: injury to major nerves is more likely than injury to non-nervous tissue to result in chronic pain. In addition, neuropathic pain tends to be more refractory than non-neuropathic pain to conventional analgesics, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids. However, because of the considerable overlap between neuropathic and nociceptive pain in terms of mechanisms and treatment modalities, it might be more constructive to view these entities as different points on the same continuum. This review focuses on the mechanisms of neuropathic pain, with special emphasis on clinical implications.
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              Deaths attributed to pediatric complex chronic conditions: national trends and implications for supportive care services.

              Children with complex chronic conditions (CCCs) might benefit from pediatric supportive care services, such as home nursing, palliative care, or hospice, especially those children whose conditions are severe enough to cause death. We do not know, however, the extent of this population or how it is changing over time. To identify trends over the past 2 decades in the pattern of deaths attributable to pediatric CCCs, examining counts and rates of CCC-attributed deaths by cause and age (infancy: <1 year old, childhood: 1-9 years old, adolescence or young adulthood: 10-24 years old) at the time of death, and to determine the average number of children living within the last 6 months of their lives. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using national death certificate data and census estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics. Participants included all people 0 to 24 years old in the United States from 1979 to 1997. CCCs comprised a broad array of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes for cardiac, malignancy, neuromuscular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, immunodeficiency, metabolic, genetic, and other congenital anomalies. Trends of counts and rates were tested using negative binomial regression. Of the 1.75 million deaths that occurred in 0- to 24-year-olds from 1979 to 1997, 5% were attributed to cancer CCCs, 16% to noncancer CCCs, 43% to injuries, and 37% to all other causes of death. Overall, both counts and rates of CCC-attributed deaths have trended downward, with declines more pronounced and statistically significant for noncancer CCCs among infants and children, and for cancer CCCs among children, adolescents, and young adults. In 1997, deaths attributed to all CCCs accounted for 7242 infant deaths, 2835 childhood deaths, and 5109 adolescent deaths. Again, in 1997, the average numbers of children alive who would die because of a CCC within the ensuing 6-month period were 1097 infants, 1414 children, and 2548 adolescents or young adults. Population-based planning of pediatric supportive care services should use measures that best inform our need to provide care for time-limited events (perideath or bereavement care) versus care for ongoing needs (home nursing or hospice). Pediatric supportive care services will need to serve patients with a broad range of CCCs from infancy into adulthood.

                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                Journal of Pain Research
                Dove Medical Press
                31 July 2017
                : 10
                : 1841-1852
                [1 ]Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, MN, USA
                [2 ]Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN, USA
                [3 ]Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
                [4 ]Department of Research and Sponsored Programs, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA
                [5 ]School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
                [6 ]BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Vancouver, BC, Canada
                [7 ]Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver, BC, Canada
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Stefan J Friedrichsdorf, Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, 2525 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA, Tel +1 612 813 6450, Fax +1 612 813 7199, Email stefan.friedrichsdorf@ 123456childrensMN.org
                © 2017 Friedrichsdorf et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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