How does your facility deal with fetal demise? - page 3

by anggelRN 28,172 Views | 35 Comments

Hello. I am a student nurse with a job in L&D this summer. I overall like the unit but there are several things that I find strange. One of the things I found strange was when I asked the nurse manager what kind of resources are... Read More


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    Yes Please ducknurse please fax to.... Much appreciated
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 31, '10 : Reason: Send contact info via email/PM per TOS
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    In my country, across all major public hospitals, and probably most private ones, we have a lot of focus on cultural sensitivity and allowing individuals to express their faith/culture as they see fit.

    Parents are offered the remains of the foetus, and its not just with natural demise, its a requirement that a mother is offered the remains if she is having a TOP.

    We have chaplains of most faiths, can get a spiritual leader of an uncommon faith, we also have Maori cultural advisors who assist patients who identify with this ethnicity. There's also the offer of counselling of various degrees, singular or group et cetera.
    RetRN77 and Elvish like this.
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    Thanks. It's great that your system is so comprehensive.
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    At the hospital where I work, I feel we have great staff who are very compassionate about helping families that have experienced a fetal demise at any gestation. We have multiple resources of people to provide support and information, such as specially trained RN's, case managers, social workers, chaplains if requested by the family. We provide coffee and 'treats' for the family and their support people. After the baby is born the family can choose to hold baby, take as many photos, etc... Then, when they are ready, we give the baby a bath, take photos in an outfit which the family get along with a blanket. They are also given a memory box with a small teddy bear, baby size ring and scrapbook. We make footprints, handprints and make plaster molds to send home with them if possible depending on gestation, which usually includes engraving of their names/bday/etc on the molds. We also utilize a professional service called, "Now I lay me down to sleep". Professional photograhers come to the hospital and take some amazing photos that the family can choose from. The sessions are free! There is also a yearly memorial service where all of the families who have experienced a loss and then any of the medical staff who took care of them can come. This doesn't include everything but some of the highlights.
    RetRN77 likes this.
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    I have always felt the trade off of the priveledge of being a part of the happiest time in the life of a family is being there during the saddest of the sad. Fortunately, it doesn't happen that often, and even when it does it's an honor and a priviledg, as well. I feel that we at Rio Grande Regional handle these situations well. We have demise packets, with all the appropriate forms topped by an algorithm sheet that tells us how to proceed depending on whether the baby is more or less than 20 weeks. We offer our chaplain's services for those parents that need, and we have two different sized memory boxes, depending on the age of the baby. Inside are some small keepsake items, a card we all sign, a booklet entitled when hello means goodbye, and a list of resource numbers and websites for them. We take pictures of the baby and put them in the bottom of the box and offer to let them see and hold the baby if they chose to. We have a baptism kit, as well, if desired.

    If it is a first baby, I try to make correlations with some of the process with one day when they hopefully return under happier circumstances, but I'm careful how I approach this and make sure they know that this baby's memory is a treasure. Most find it reassuring that even under normal situations, that is what labor feels like, or that is what getting an epidural is like, etc.
    RetRN77 likes this.
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    Oh, how sad. When I was working I was in L&D, PP, GYN, and Neo ICU. I am and was a perinatal bereavement counselor/coordinator for RTS from LaCrosse, WI. We worked with the families closely. Our work included making sure the parents and family were able to hold their baby and say good-bye. The parents were given a packet full of information about how to cope, about how to handle grief, and what to expect. We bathed the baby, dressed them in some gorgeous little handmade outfits provided by a ladies group at church, wrapped them in warm blankets, and took them to the room. It's rewarding work. If you're interested in OB nursing consider becoming a counselor with RTS and implementing a program. If you have to some kind of project for a class this would be perfect. Enjoy your career, it's the best despite the junk.

    Winona Cross, BSN, RN
    MAtoBSN and RetRN77 like this.
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    Hey all! I was wondering if anyone would be willing to send me a copy of their hospital policies/procedures for IUFD. We're trying to re-do ours and I'm on the commity for this and could use as many resouces as possible because ours is not good and I'd love for it to be great! Thanks!
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    At the hospital I work at we have a nurse who is certified as a grief counselor. We have have lots of materials for the parents to read and we put together a little box with a disposable camera that we take pictures of the baby on and the parents can develop it if and when they would like. Sometimes we even cut a little bit of the baby's hair and put it in a plastic bag. We just put some stuff together in a memory box that the parents can take with them. We also do a memorial service in May for all the babies that were lost through the year. Parents are also invited to this as well. I feel that our hospital does a good job at helping parents deal with fetal demise.
    MAtoBSN likes this.
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    Quote from Elvish
    We have grief packets and information about support groups, that we offer at any gestation loss. We offer chaplain service as well but it's parents' choice to say yes or no to that. Our grief packets contain information about the grief process and books to help siblings deal, if that applies.

    Our memory box contains of
    pictures
    hand/footprints
    the clothes that were used in the picture
    armbands like the ones we use for live newborns w/ birth info
    locks of hair, if possible

    I love the work that the folks at NILMDTS do. So professional and so beautiful.
    Sounds like what we have. THere are MANY resources for families suffering infant and fetal loss. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise and if you offer none at your hospital, it's time to start searching. These people need ALL the support we can offer.
    RetRN77 likes this.
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    Hello fellow nurses, I came acrosss this question when I was actually looking for informatio for parents that have fetal demises at my facility, I am a newer nurse of 2 yrs and have worked my unit this entire time, I have gotten to see and comfort families of fetal demises quiet often, I had one of my one a few years ago and since being a nurse I have had a few pts ranging form GA of 14 weeks to 34 weeks, my unit does have a policy that we do for fetal demises, but we all have a memory box that we give patients, we do footprints, hand prints, locks of hair if available and photos, we also have recently since I have been there started working with a mortuary that will cremate the infants if families choose. I hope this helps in answering your question. A loss of a pregnancy at any GA is horrific for the family, we as nurses to remember compasion and give them tokens from that birth.
    Elizabeth


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