Use of subcutaneous fluids in palliative care with children: a case study
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Use of subcutaneous fluids in palliative care with children: a case study

Adrian Smith Lead Nurse, Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice, Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Mandy Jane Brimble Senior Lecturer, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales

Why you should read this article:
  • To learn about the practical aspects of subcutaneous fluid therapy in children receiving end of life care

  • To enhance your awareness of the challenges involved in making decisions about the care of children at the end of life

  • To understand the importance of considering parents’ wishes about their child’s end of life care

Quality of life is a major consideration in children’s palliative care, particularly at the end of life. Optimal symptom management is crucial in maintaining quality of life, with the aim being to ensure the child is as comfortable as possible. Ensuring adequate hydration will often be part of symptom management but may be associated with several practical and ethical challenges. Subcutaneous fluid administration in children’s palliative care is relatively uncommon, so there is a lack of evidence on the topic.

This article demonstrates that it is feasible to use subcutaneous fluid therapy in the children’s hospice setting to address patients’ hydration needs and manage their symptoms. It presents a case study of a child who received subcutaneous fluids in a children’s hospice for dehydration and myoclonus. It uses the case study to discuss subcutaneous fluid therapy in the children’s palliative care setting, including its indications and contraindications, administration, complications and important factors to consider.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2020.e1277

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

@MandyBrimble

Correspondence

brimblemj@cf.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Smith A, Brimble MJ (2020) Use of subcutaneous fluids in palliative care with children: a case study. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2020.e1277

Published online: 15 June 2020

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