Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
SAPOLNIK, Roberto. Intensive care therapy for cancer patients. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2003, vol.79, suppl.2, pp. S231-S242. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572003000800013.
OBJECTIVES: To review the most important aspects of the clinical presentation and treatment of children with cancer in intensive care units. SOURCES OF DATA: Medline (1970 to 2003); search terms: children, cancer, oncology, intensive care, complications. General and pediatric oncology textbooks. SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS: Practically all organs may be affected by cancer or by its treatment. The main complications include infections, hematological problems and electrolyte/ metabolic disturbances. Intensive care therapy is necessary to correct organic dysfunctions (cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and neurologic). Nutritional and emotional support, as well as pain control are fundamental aspects for recovery in children. The intensivist should be alert to interrupt intensive care measures if required. CONCLUSION: Many studies show that the use of intensive care therapy in children with cancer is not futile, with a reduction in mortality and improvement in the quality of life of these children in the medium and long terms.
Keywords : Câncer; children; intensive care; complication; infection; organic dysfunction.