DOES THE CAUSE OF DEATH INFLUENCE HOW PHYSICIANS INFORM PARENTS OF THEIR CHILDREN’S DEATHS?

Authors

  • Daniel H. Grossoehme Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron
  • Jeffrey Kempf Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i2.8

Keywords:

death, SIDS, Children, Physician Behavior

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Daniel H. Grossoehme, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron

Daniel H. Grossoehme is director of pastoral care

Jeffrey Kempf, Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron

Jeffrey Kempf is Attending Physician, Emergency Medicine Department, at the Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron, Ohio 44333 USA.

References

COMMITTEE ON CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT (American Academy of Paediatrics). 1994 Distinguishing Sudden Infant Death Syndrom from Child Abuse Fatalities. Paediatrics, 94:124-126.

DUBIN W., SARNOFF J. 1986 Sudden Unexpected Death: intervention With the Survivors. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 15: 54.

HAMILTON, G. 1988 Sudden Death in the ED: Telling the Living. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 17:382.

HAUGHEY, M. 2000 Delivering News Annals of Emergency. Medicine, 36:1, 68-69.

OLIVER R., FALLAT M. 1995 Traumatic Childhood Death: How Well Do Parents Cope ? Journal of Trauma, 39: 303-308.

WOLFRAM R., TIMMEL D., DOYLE C., ACKERMAN A., LEBET R. 1998 Incorporation of a “Coping with the Death of a Child” Module into the Paediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) Curriculum. Academic Emergency Medicine 5:242-2

Published

2013-06-11

How to Cite

Grossoehme, D., & Kempf, J. (2013). DOES THE CAUSE OF DEATH INFLUENCE HOW PHYSICIANS INFORM PARENTS OF THEIR CHILDREN’S DEATHS?. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 8–12. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v3i2.8