Death of young patient hit us all hard during an emotional shift
It was my second shift on an acute under-12s’ children’s ward. Handover began and I could tell by the look on the night shift nurse’s face that it had been difficult.
My mentor was asked to go immediately to be with a young patient requiring intensive one-to-one care. The patient – I will call him Oliver – had been admitted to the ward the previous day. He had underlying genetic abnormalities and was just 14 months old. He had spent most of his life in hospital on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and had always been fed via a nasogastric tube. He had been home a matter of months before returning.
As I entered the room with my mentor, his small, bare body lay unresponsively on the bed. I stroked his face and rustled my fingers through his hair. Oliver had been diagnosed with sepsis, was in...
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