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December 2015

Care of Adults in Children’s HospitalsAcknowledging the Aging Elephant in the Room

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • 2Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(12):1081-1082. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.2215

Adults are just obsolete children, and the hell with them.

Theodor Seuss Geisel

In the past, the care of adult patients in children’s hospitals was an uncommon occurrence. However, the face of pediatrics is changing rapidly as advances in care of once-terminal childhood illnesses allow patients to survive well into adulthood. Given the specialized care frequently required to treat these congenital and childhood diseases, adult survivors are often treated by pediatric specialists housed in children’s hospitals. This paradigm shift means that some children’s hospitals must be well equipped to care for these adults, which may stress the capabilities of both pediatric health care professionals and institutions.

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