Bereavement Considerations for Infant/Child Deaths Occurring in Hospitals
Bereavement Service Considerations
- It may be possible to match new families for peer counseling based on type of
- New families could also join existing support groups with appropriate notice to
existing members if the numbers are so small that only one support group exists.
When possible, add a second support group for the new families.
- Expected deaths (after long-term illness) require palliative care as well as
bereavement support for the family after the death.
- Start with reviewing how current referrals are made to organization. If some are
from hospitals, it may not be too difficult to add hospital deaths.
- Determine if new referral mechanisms are needed. These may include reviewing
the obituaries, establishing contacts and providing literature to funeral homes,
emergency rooms and hospitals.
- Conduct a survey of hospitals to determine where these referrals or services are
currently being provided. It is possible that for some types of deaths, services exist
in the hospital or community.
Infants born with problems that are incompatible with life may live for extended periods
of time. This may include extreme prematurity, severe congenital anomalies or other
conditions. With the wide spread usage in sonograms and diagnostic testing, increasing
numbers of parents are informed ahead of the infant’s birth about lethal congenital
anomalies. These families face different issues and their need for support begins at