In this kind of belief, there was no place for the quality of life of patients and their families. Surviving and living a long life were two axes that formed this coordinate system. During the recent years and more specifically since 32 years ago, upon the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), an important factor was added to the responsibilities of the medical team which is “Quality of life of patients is important.”
We all know that when someone has a serious disease like cancer, they have to endure the side effects of treatment such as pain, nausea, depression, anxiety and so on. Hospice and palliative care include a set of measures in which physicians try to minimize these complications and make the lifeless challenging for the patients and their families. MAHAK has been paying special attention to this issue since December 2015 when its first Pediatric Cancer Pain and Palliative Care Unit in the Middle East was inaugurated. For the same reason, we had an interview with Dr. Ali Naderi, the head of MAHAK’s Pain and Palliative Care Ward.
Dr. Naderi first described the processes of palliative care at MAHAK Hospital and stated: “I have worked in different hospitals in different areas in Iran. MAHAK is the only hospital that has a separate ward for Pain and Palliative Care for patients who suffer from a lot of pain for different reasons, such as side effects of surgery, chemotherapy, infection and etc. Various measures are taken in this ward such as using a pain pump or blocking the pain path.”
He also highlighted the necessity of having such an award at MAHAK Hospital and added: “When a child suffers from a lot of pain, keeping him at home has devastating physical and mental effects on him and his family. Therefore, in addition to reducing the suffering of cancer treatment, the Pain and Palliative Care Ward seeks to improve the quality of life of the child and his family. This quality improvement is primarily done to reduce pain for the child and, to a lesser extent, to reduce fatigue and mental tiredness for the family.”
To further describe the treatment process in the Pain and Palliative Care Ward of MAHAK Hospital, he stated: “In this ward, we benefit from the expertise of various pediatric specialists. Moreover, the presence of social workers and psychologists is very important in improving the psychological conditions of families.”
The set of activities of different departments and divisions of MAHAK Charity and Hospital, such as psychology department, social work department, pain and palliative care ward and etc., are performed to achieve a single goal. They are all done to assure the parents that their beloved children will never miss their childhood days while they receive the best treatment services under all circumstances. May there be a time when no child suffers any cancer pain.