PAC (Post-Acute Care) for Pediatrics is a specialized care facility for children who show high-intensity symptoms of long-term illness, trauma, injury, or pain. These services are provided by professionals and healthcare centers. Depending upon the type and severeness of the illness, some children are subjected to short-term PAC, and others are subjected to long-term PAC.
Undoubtedly, children have faster metabolism as compared to adults, and they also have the tendency to heal quickly. However, at the same time, the chances of developing a mental illness or an infection in children are also higher because of long-term hospitalization. It’s critical to realize the importance of PAC facilities for children where they can receive relevant physical and mental therapy and required treatment.
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The Importance of Post-Acute Care in Pediatrics Important?
Professionals and experts are conducting numerous studies to examine children with different age groups undergoing several SHCN (Special Health Care Needs) treatments. One of the studies discusses a case of a 2 years old kid who was suffering from acute fever. According to the diagnosis and tests, the doctors were unable to determine the root cause of the fever. Thus, the doctors prescribed a general dose of antibiotics. Resultantly, within a week of the medication period, the child developed an acute rash.
In order to control the situation, the child was given a shot of steroids, and it was deduced that the rash was caused because of the reaction from the antibiotic. So, the pediatrics changed the medicine, but the reaction (rash) became even more severe. After that, the panel of professional pediatricians decided to send the patient under post-acute care for pediatrics observation. Here are some of the facts derived from the study mentioned above.
- The exact cause of many diseases, including acute fever, sometimes cannot be determined immediately.
- In such situations (where the children have complex health conditions), kids require high-quality care in order to receive long-term treatment.
- After receiving long-term, high-quality treatment, children also need sufficient time to heal.
- PAC for pediatrics is necessary because children are more prone to develop physical as well as mental illness as compared to adults.
- Children who require special care must be provided with proper care to heal and to live normally and happily in society.
Post-Acute Care for Pediatrics Types
After treating a chronic disease or even surgery, pediatric care for children can be provided by PAC facilities, hospitals, and also residential care.
As mentioned, these are specialized facilities where children receive treatment depending upon the type and intensity of the illness. Such centers play a critical role, and they must provide the following:
- Prepare children to deal with severe disabilities in order to live a normal life.
- Teach the most suitable and perfumable methods to children to cope with their short-term as well as long-term health problems
- Mitigate the post-surgery or post-treatment complexities for children after major treatments and surgeries.
First of all, it’s important to note that there aren’t many PAC hospitals for children because most of them majorly focus on elderly care. However, some of the hospitals that offer these services are helpful to children with special healthcare requirements (usually after major surgery or treatment).
According to the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) stats, the in-hospital post-acute care for children is around 45.6 percent for the kids with age between 0 to 13 years. Moreover, only 1.1 percent of children are discharged to specialized PAC centers and 5.1 to residential healthcare. Out of a total of 45.6 percent of the children, 44.5 percent go under neonatal care.
These stats show that the percentage of children who are subjected to PAC in hospitals is disturbingly low.
Residential Pediatric Care
Post-acute care for pediatrics is very similar to residential care for older adults. It can also be long-term as well as short-term, depending upon the type of health problem. It’s necessary for children who suffer from permanent disabilities and chronic pains. In many cases, single or multiple professionals take care of children in residential pediatric care. Some of the most common treatments that children get in residential pediatric care are following proper medication, exercises, psychiatry therapies, physiotherapies, and coping mechanisms.
The Results of Short-Term PAC for Pediatrics
According to the NCBI conclusions, which were derived from 10 different studies, the following are the outcomes of short-term PAC for pediatrics.
Reduction in Pain
The studies conducted by NCBI suggest that a significant number of kids showed pain reduction because of the short-term pediatric services. In most cases, the children were treated for one to two years.
No Adverse Side Effects
The most important part of the studies conducted by NCBI is that in both long-term and short-term treatments, not even a single child showed any adverse side effects.
Better Physical Stimuli
In terms of physical functions, kids with permanent disabilities showed considerable progress. The results were equally the same for even the children who underwent major surgeries.
The short-term PAC for pediatrics reduces anxiety in children that led to better sleep patterns. Additionally, the use of medication for better sleep also helped.
Positive Emotional Health
Because of the reduction in anxiety, depression, and panic attack, the emotional health of children also improved.
Reduced Treatment Cost
The studies also show that short-term PAC for pediatrics also helped the parents with reduced treatment costs. The continuous improvement in kids led to less post-surgical complexities and re-hospitalization even after undergoing a major operation.
The Results of Long-Term PAC for Pediatrics
The NCBI study shows that the long-term outcomes of PAC for pediatrics were not that great as compared to short-term PAC. But it certainly doesn’t mean that the long-term PAC for pediatrics didn’t help. The results were satisfactory which are as followed:
- The study couldn’t identify any definite factor that decreased the risk factors regarding the health problem.
- The percentage of the children (discharged within six months) who were re-hospitalized was less.
- The study shows that because of the long-term PAC for pediatrics, there was an outbreak of comorbid conditions, urinary tract infection, and influenza.
The scientists and experts are constantly conducting studies and publishing research in order to determine the best methods to control these outbreaks. However, there is no final study or set of rules that prove the long-term PAC necessity.
Just like any other treatment method, post-acute care for pediatrics service also has its own limitations and restrictions. However, there are positive signs that clearly show the growing need for PACs for pediatrics. Governments around the world are not only putting their efforts to create more PAC facilities. But they’re also encouraging hospitals to follow the same procedure for children, especially those who undergo major/severe surgery and treatment.
It’s also important for the existing hospitals to realize the importance of these centers to make sure that children with severe disabilities and permanent chronic pain can live their lives normally and happily.
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