Caring for children with complex medical needs can be a daunting task, but with proper thought and planning, it can be a very rewarding experience. In a new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “Home Care of Children and Youth With Complex Health Care Needs and Technology Dependencies,” in the May 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online April 30), the AAP describes how to care for children with chronic conditions who are transitioning from hospital to home care. The first part of the report defines how to send a child home from the hospital: ensuring that all medications and equipment have been ordered, follow-up has been arranged with the child’s primary care provider (PCP) and various specialists, and most importantly, parents or other care providers are trained to care for the child at home, often including nursing support. The second part describes how to keep the child at home: what the PCP can do to support and meet the needs of the child and family and provide a comfortable and safe medical home for the patient.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.