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Glossary

Affordable Care Act (ACA)* – A federal statue signed into law in March 2010. Signed under the title of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the law included multiple provisions that would take effect over a matter of years, including the expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

Advance directive – Written or verbal instructions for your care if you are unable to make decisions.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) – A procedure used when a patient's heart stops beating; it can involve compressions of the chest or electrical stimulation.

Children with special health care needs* – Children who are at risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional condition and also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally.

Complex chronic conditions (CCC)* – Medical conditions that can reasonably be expected to last at least 12 months, unless death intervenes, and either to involve several different organ systems or to involve one organ system severely enough to require specialty pediatric care, with a likelihood of some period of hospitalization in a tertiary care center.

Consulting physician – A doctor with special training or experience who is called in to assist the primary attending physician in matters that need more specialized care.

Coordination of care – An approach in which all members of the medical team work together to plan for a patient's care in the hospital for discharge.

Do not resuscitate (DNR) order – A physician's order not to attempt CPR if a patient's heart or breathing stops. The order is written at the request of the patient or family, but it must be signed by a physician to be valid. There are separate versions for home and hospital.

Durable power of attorney for health care – A document that designates the person you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable.

Health care proxy – Similar to a durable power of attorney for health care: a document that designates the person you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable.

Home care – Services provided in the home, such as nursing and physical therapy.

Hydration – The process of providing water or fluid by mouth, tube or intravenously.

Intensive care unit (ICU)* – A specialized section of a hospital that provides comprehensive and continuous care for persons who are critically ill and who can benefit from treatment.

Intubation – The process of inserting a tube into a patient's lungs to help with breathing.

Life-prolonging treatment* – Medical treatments that aim to cure or remedy an illness.

Life-limiting conditions* – Conditions in the pediatric population with which the child is not expected to live to adulthood.

Life-threatening conditions* – Conditions that are very serious, pose a threat to the child's well-being and where prognosis is questionable.

Low birth weight* – A birth weight of a live born infant of less than 2,500 g (5 pounds 8 ounces) regardless of gestational age.

Living will – A document stating a patient's wishes regarding medical treatments.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – A class of pain medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Opioids – A class of pain medications that have some opiate narcotic properties but are not derived from opium.

Palliate – To relieve the symptoms of a disease or disorder.

Pediatric palliative/hospice care* – Both a philosophy and an organized method for delivering competent, compassionate and consistent care to children with chronic, complex and/or life-threatening conditions and their families.

Resuscitation – Similar to CPR, a protocol used when a patient's heart stops beating; it can involve compressions of the chest or electrical stimulation.

Symptom – A feeling a patient has that indicates a disorder or disease.

Ventilator – A machine that breathes for a patient when he or she is unable to do so independently.

* ©2015 National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

We're here to help.

If your child is living with a complex, chronic, or life threatening illness, we can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment or refer a patient to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-1116.