Critical Illness in Children

When children are faced with critical or terminal illness, many of them will experience some level of trauma. There are a range of factors that determine which children will or will not suffer symptoms.

Causes of the Trauma

Perhaps the most primary cause of the manifestation of trauma for children with critical or terminal illnesses is related to the pain of diagnostic tests and ongoing treatments. These are unfamiliar, often painful, and are often coupled with anxiety on the part of parents or caregivers. Depending on the outcome of tests and ultimate prognosis, anxiety and dread may set in as the child begins to understand the duration of the treatment regimen. The level of pain coupled with the psychological and emotional upheaval may overwhelm their usual abilities ...

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