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Pain Research and Management
Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 163-171
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2006/608536
Special Article

Ensuring Pain Relief for Children at the End of Life

Marie-Claude Grégoire1 and Gerri Frager2

1Pediatric Pain and Palliative Care, Department of Pediatrics, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
2Pediatric Palliative Care, Department of Pediatrics, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Pain management in the context of pediatric palliative care can be challenging. The present article reviews, through a case-based presentation, the nonpharmacological and pharmacological methods used to ensure adequate pain control in children facing end of life. Details on the impressive range of opioid dosages required and routes of administration are highlighted from published literature and clinical experience. Where available, evidence-based recommendations are provided. Potential side effects of pain medication and barriers to good pain control are discussed. Novel analgesics and innovative delivery methods are presented as future tools enhancing pain relief at the end of life. Some challenges to ethically grounded research in this important context of care are reviewed.