The communication between the pathologist and the parents for a neonatal autopsy: our experience in Patagonia, Argentina

The communication between the pathologist and the parents for a neonatal autopsy: our experience in Patagonia, Argentina

María Gabriela Manzzi, Rafael Santapau

Pathology Service of the Zonal Hospital “Dr. Andres Isola”, Puerto Madryn Chubut, Patagonia Argentina and Oncology Center of Puerto Madryn Chubut, Patagonia Argentina.

Introduction:
Since the first autopsies in the beginning of the Renaissance, there is a mysticism, superstition and/or unknowledge of the not scientific community, which leads many times parents to the refusal to perform the necropsy.

Description:
When the doctors request for a neonatal autopsy, we observed in many cases, that parents do not have any knowledge of the procedures to follow over the fetal body. The pathologist has the tools and knowledge to remove doubts and fears of the word “autopsy”, which is immediately link with the concept of “morgue”, “death”, “fear”. In our experience, we check in most of the cases of fetal died, the obstetrician requests the necropsy without specific details to the parents of the procedure to follow. The family in an emotional stress due to the loss of the loved one, must be informed, that the autopsy will allow, in most of the cases, to prove the cause of death and remove fears, doubts and feeling of guilt in the family. And in specific cases will provide the basis for the genetic counseling of future pregnancies. We believe that communication between parents and pathologist is very important to obtain the authorization to do the fetal autopsy, to inform the treatment of the corpse, the delivery conditions for the elaboration of their due grief, etc.

Summary:
In our practice we have obtained, in almost all the opportunities, in which we have been able to carry out the interview with the parents, the acceptance of them for the realization of autopsy.Keywords: autopsy, communication parents-pathologist, Patagonia Argentina

Ethics statement
Ethical approval for the study was provided by the Ethics Committee Zonal Hospital Puerto Madryn (Reference Nº 437, 26 March 2019).

Key words: autopsy, communication parents-pathologist, Patagonia Argentina

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