Specialties Ob/Gyn


Just need some moral support.

Last week I had a patient who had an IUFD at 31 weeks, very sad, I was very bummed by the whole thing.

Day before yesterday, I was assigned a pt who had been in-house since Feb 1, preeclamptic, CHTN, diabetic, polycystic ovary syndrome. She was 33 weeks and Sunday it was discovered that her baby had died. Bad enough, right? When I got her, she had already had 5 units of packed red cells, because her crit kept going down. She wasn't in dic, though. Very weird picture. A section was called because her induction wasn't working after two days, and we knew she was bleeding somewhere. So we got in, under general anesthesia, and there was no abruption. Surgeon was feeling around to see if something else was going on and he said "Oh ****, call general surgery" Turns out this woman has mets from an unknown primary tumor all over her intestines. She has a breast mass, and a mass on the head of her pancreas. We were in surgery for four hours.

All this time, the baby is in the next room unattended. The dad is wanting to see her. When I got out of the OR, I had two new admissions. I was just not able to do justice to this poor family. Another nurse did take over finally and help them, but I felt horrible. I can't shake it, really. I know time will help, but I hate feeling that I wasn't able to to what they needed.

Thanks for listening.



6,620 Posts

Oh Lisa, that is so terrible. I am so sorry to hear that. I can't imagine even being able to do an admission after that. Don't be hard on yourself, there are some things that are just out of your control and that doesn't make you a bad nurse. Just makes you human. I hope your unit will do some kind of debriefing about this.


305 Posts

Thanks. You know, everytime this happens, I think why isn't there anything for us? There are reams of grief information for parents but nothing that I can find for nurses. How do we debrief? How do we keep our sanity?

Any suggestions?

mother/babyRN, RN

11 Articles; 1,587 Posts

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN.

That is just so terribly sad.....I wish there was something to say that could possibly help, but only thing I can think of is you did the best you can and those people are going to remember all you did and tried to do for them....You are strong, but you are also human. If you could shake it, as you say, you wouldn't be you, OR the wonderful nurse you seem to be.....Hugs....

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