Care following perinatal loss does not end at hospital discharge
R. Heras Trejo (1), I. Pérez Pinedo (1), T. Caballé Bel (2), C. García Terol (3), M. Brito Vera (4).
(1) Nurse, (2) Midwife, (3) Head of maternity services, (4) Gynecologist
Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu (PSSJD), Barcelona, Spain
At the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Deu (PSSJD) the care we offer to families who suffer the death of their baby is based upon our own multidiscipinary guide. We established the differentiation between hospital care and outpatient follow-up. During the cases review we undergo on a monthly basis, a gap between in-hospital and outpatient care was observed, therefore the “follow-up telephone call” was established for all parents, regardless gestational age.
Maternity nurses’ team, and more specifically the nurse/midwife who established a closer relationship with the family will make the follow-up phone call. Prior to discharge the nurse/midwife will inform the family about the call and gain their consent. The call will take place 3 weeks after discharge. An specific register has been designed, where the nurse/midwife will resume the clinical details and the information gathered via the phone, including physical condition of the mother as well as the emotional state of both parents. The call allows the nurse/midwife to detect any change in their grieving process, clarify doubts and redirect to the appropriate professional if necessary.
Contact via a telephone call offers the family a professional who “has not forgotten them”, someone to whom they can talk to freely about their worries which arise during the first days at home, someone who can offer them resources to integrate this tough experience into their lives.
Informed consent was sought from the parents involved; their confidentiality and anonymity is preserved, and there is no ethical conflict.