A child died this morningLet

Nurses General Nursing


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753 Posts

Specializes in Pediatric Rehabilitation.


I feel your pain, bud. I go home every morning and hug mine tight. It really makes you appreciate your kids...and life in general. I'm curious, do ya'll put your T&A's on sat monitors? In six years, with an average of 5 post op T&A, I have never seen a T&A code (probably will happen tonight). Was this a simple T&A or were there other preexisting problems? Hold your head up, you did all you could! God bless you and his family!


Overland1, RN

465 Posts

As much as we tell ourselves that death is a part of life and that dealing with those deaths is a part of our chosen profession, we will (it is hoped) never become accustomed to it.

Sounds like everybody did all that they could do, considering the circumstances.

I used to work as a float nurse (occasionally worked Peds) at a hospital where the Director of Nursing said the facility would not reimburse those of us for the cost of our PALS courses. Her rationale was that, "this hospital does not do Pediatric Advanced Life Support." Had I not personally heard her speak those words, I would not have believed it.

She is no longer there, and this hospiatl is even teaching its own PALS courses, thanks to the efforts of a recently hired Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Keep plugging away, and consider all that is done well and all of the good outcomes. The few cases in which the patient does not survive are a very small number, and can be a learning experience (I do not mean to sould cold here). Unfortunately, they cannot be totally eliminated. I was taught early in my schooling that there are just some cases where no human has the power to effectively reverse a situation where, for whatever reason, death is inevitable.


9 Posts

This is a very sad situation, but for all of those out there do not give up on babies and kids. I have been a peds RN for 13 yr--always have done PICU or NICU--yes having a child or infant die is horrible, but all families need caring people to help them cope!! Second of all taking of care of kids is so rewarding, even when you are dealing with a terminal situation kids take death with so much more peace than adults. I do have a 6yo and 9 yo--do I cry --ABSOLUTELY!! That is what makes us human, mothers, and nurses. The mother of a child who has died needs ALL OF YOU!!

God Bless and give strength--



96 Posts


My heart goes out to you. I think it takes VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE to work peds as I know I could not. I do however work at a pediatric trauma center (I work the adult side) and know the whole mood changes with the death of a child. I know you did all you could do. I also know that doesn't make it any easier. My thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as the unknown child and his family.



39 Posts

More tears....for a family who has suffered a devastating loss and for Dave who witnessed the code. It isn't easy, is it? And there are no words for it, not for comfort for anyone concerned. It touches me even furthur that so many of us have been moved by Dave's story. we are good people@ Trying to do our best with what we have. Trying to make life, and yes even death, somehow less painful. God bless us all!!


83 Posts

May The Lord bless you and keep you;

May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

This prayer I say when knowledge of a death comes to me. I say it several times, praying that the soul(s) are protected by God. YOU ARE A GOOD NURSE!

When I read the post on the child who died this morning it touched my heart in so many ways, as a mother of a 3 and a half year old, as a nursing student, as a care assistant working in a pediatric hospital and as a future pediatric nurse. I wondered if I have the strength to do what I have dreamed of doing for so long. The same day I read the post a coinidence happened my best friend Fowarded a e-mail in regards to children and death and a mother's pain and it has helped me a little and I am going to share it. Warning this is a little Religious and does mention god so if you can not handle this please move to a different post. I am sorry I don't know how to cut and paste so I am typing my e-mail.

It is entitled sad but makes you think

Sally jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon came out of the operating room she said, "How is my little boy? Is he going to be O.K.? When can I see him? The surgeon said, "I am sorry we did all we could." Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer doesn't god care any more? God, where were you when my son needed you." The surgeon said, "One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes to let you spend time with your son's remains before it's transported to the university. Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good-bye to her son. Sally ran her fingers through his thick red curly hair. The nurse said, "Would you like a lock of his hair? Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of his hair and put it in a plastic bad and handed to sally. Sally said it was Jimmy's idea to give his body to the university for study. He said it might help someone else, and that is what I wanted. I said no at first but jummy said, "Mom I won't be using it after I die maybe it will help some other little boy to be able to spend one more day with his mother. Sally said, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold, always thinking of someone else and always thinking of someon else and always wanting to help others if he could. Sally walked out of the children's hospital for the last time after spending most of the last six months there. She sat the bag with Jimmy's things in it on the seat beside her in the car. The drive hom was hard and it was even harder going into an empty house. She tookd the bag to Jimmy's room an started placing the models cars and other things back in his room exactly where he always kept them. She laiid down across his bed and cried herself to sleep holding his pillow. Sally woke up about midnight and lying beside her on the bed was a letter folded up. She opened the letter and it said:

Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me but don't think that I will ever forget you or stop loving you because I am not around to say I love you. I think of you every day mom, and I'll love you even more each day. Some day we will see each other again. If you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely he can have my room and my old stuff to play with. If you decide to get a girl instead she probably wouldn't like the same things as us boys do so you will have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like. Don't be sad when you think about me this is a really great place. Grandma and grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything here.

The angels re so friendly and I love to watch them fly. Jesus doesn't look like any of the pictures I saw of him but I knew it was him as soon as I saw him. Jesus took me to see God and guess what mom? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to him like I was somebody important. I told God that I wanted to write you a letter and tell you good-bye and everything but I knew that wasn't allowed. God handed me some paper and his own personal pen to write you this letter with. I think Gabriel is the name of the angel that is going to dropthe letter off to you. God said for me to give the answer to one of the questions you asked him about, Where was he when I needed him? God said, "The same place he was when Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as he always is with all his children. Oh by the way mom nobody else can see what is written on this paper but you. To everyone else it looks like a blank piece of paper. I have to give God his pen back now, He has more names to write in the book of life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great. I almost forgot to let you know, Now I don't hurt anymore, the cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand the pain anymore and god couldn't stand to see me suffer. So he sent the Angel of Mercy to get me. The angel said I was special delivery!

Signed with love from,

God & Jesus & Me.

I don't know the author of this but thought I would share this with everyone else considering that many of us deal with life and death and grieving of others or will be soon.


69 Posts

As I sat reading the original post with tears running down my cheeks, my 22 month old son climbed in my lap, gave me a hug and a big wet kiss. He then looked at me, holding my face in his tiny hands, and said, "Mommy, no cry". He got a big hug (as did his sister) and I silently said a prayer of thanks for my children and asked for comfort for the mother and caregivers of the child that died.

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

DPlear, I will keep this family and you in my prayers.

I can relate to this, I used to work in a peds ICU, but after seeing one death too many, I walked away from peds and haven't regreted it. I can't tell you enough how much respect I have for the nurses who stay and give of themselves so willingly.

One book my Pastor gave me when I was having a particularly hard time was called "A Window to Heaven", it was written by a pediatric oncologist. I have since given my copy to a parent of a dying child. This author writes of children's near-death experiences, or pre-death experiences, and it is fascinating to read, and also extremely comforting. See if you can find this book, and keep a copy on your unit. Wish I could remeber the author's name. A death like this is so sad as it never should have happened, but it has, and now, somehow, you need to find the strenght to return to work and another day.

We have had times when we lost 2 or three children in cycles. Our manager decided to call in EAP program person for a debriefing, it was very very helpful to the staff. I think it was the first time we ever spoke to each other about a peds death, and it opened the door for more support and sharing among us the next time it happened. The absolute worst was when we had just lost a child and the bed was needed immediately for another case. I felt so bad for that nurse, I don't know how she did it. I think that's the hardest part. Then there is always that odd quiet the next day, the whole unit is in mourning.

God bless you for your dedication and caring.


458 Posts

I am taking pre reqs for nursing and in alot of things I have read so far the people say to distance yourself....I know that I will not be able to do so. Dave....sorry for the loss of the patient....it will never be eay to deal with.....I will be crying right along with the family when I lose a patient.....that is the way I am. I don't want to be heartless. It will be hard, but I want to feel that pain so that I can help the family through it.....my two cents....God bless!


9 Posts


hi--sounds like you have all covered in the code dept--sounds like your very equipped to do all you can, hope i didn't inply otherwise---but , i guess -(well know-)-we're not god--you did all you could do. take care and i hope time softens the memory and pain . god bless--lisa:o


5 Posts

Man, that is rough, but let me thank you for being there and trying your best. Without nurses like you there would be noone we could hand our precious bundles to for healing.



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