DOES THE CAUSE OF DEATH INFLUENCE HOW PHYSICIANS INFORM PARENTS OF THEIR CHILDREN’S DEATHS?
Keywords:death, SIDS, Children, Physician Behavior
An uncontrolled prospective observational study was conducted to record the interaction of Emergency Department physicians in cases of trauma and possible Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) deaths, to determine whether the manner of death influences whether physicians immediately deliver news of a child’s death to the parents or whether the physician first asks questions of the parents. Physicians immediately delivered news of the child’s death in three-quarters of the cases at our centre. The presence of other professionals appeared to influence physician behaviour. The sample size limits the conclusions to be drawn, but room for improvement is noted. Chaplains are in a position to teach other staff.
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