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Preparing staff for the sudden death of a child in the emergency department

A study day organised by paediatric emergency department sister Tina Fairhead has given staff at her trust the skills and confidence to cope with the sudden death of a child

A study day organised by paediatric emergency department sister Tina Fairhead has given staff at her trust the skills and confidence to cope with the sudden death of a child

  • Other trusts to be invited to study days, with simulations on resuscitation, breaking bad news
  • Safeguarding team, police, mortuary manager collaborated on emergency department guide
  • England has statutory guidance on child deaths but trusts differ in their response

The sudden unexpected death of a child in the emergency department (ED) is a traumatic event, and as healthcare professionals we have a comprehensive range of statutory duties and obligations that we must fulfil when this happens.

In England, statutory guidance is set out in the government document Working Together to Safeguard Children, but trusts differ in their service response. For example, not all hospital trusts are licensed

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