Do you have a particular way to break it to the family?

  1. When your patient dies, what do you say to the family? What words work for you, and them? Have you ever had a family member press you for a detailed description of their loved ones' last moments? One daughter said to me, "Did she...gasp?" How to describe agonal respirations in a kind way? I just feel I could handle this much better! But how?
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    About KarafromPhilly

    Joined: Jun '02; Posts: 230; Likes: 120
    midnite RN
    Specialty: cardiac ICU


  3. by   ?burntout
    It depends on the situation: I usually tell them, if they are present and the patient has not been pronounced by the MD (as is the rule @ my hospital), I tell them I am sorry but I do not hear a heartbeat....
    If the MD has pronounced-I tell them that I am sorry-I ask them if there is anyone they would like me to call, just basic comfort things.....I get them tissue, juice, coffee and I give them time to be with the patient.

    I have been asked if patient "suffered"-I tell them no-our MDs are pretty good about wanting the patient to be comfortable..

    hope this helps!