Care after death in children's hospices: recommendations for moving and handling, and for managing physiological deterioration

Title

Care after death in children's hospices: recommendations for moving and handling, and for managing physiological deterioration

Creator

Tatterton M; Honour A; Billington D; Kirkby L; Lyon JA; Lyon N; Gaskin J

Publisher

Nursing Children and Young People

Date

2022

Subject

Bereavement; Death; End-of-life; Families; Grief; Palliative care; Professional handling; Terminal care

Description

BACKGROUND: Children's hospices provide a range of services for babies, children and young people who have a life-limiting or life-threatening condition, including care after death in specialist 'cool bedrooms'. Care after death is a challenging but important element of hospice care. AIM: The aims of the study were to identify the practices of staff providing care after death in UK children's hospices, notably their moving and handling practices and their management of physiological deterioration, and to produce recommendations that promote safe and consistent practice in moving and handling and in managing physiological deterioration after death in UK children's hospices. METHOD(S): An electronic survey was sent to all 54 UK children's hospices. Free-text responses were analysed using deductive content analysis and used to add depth to the quantitative findings. FINDINGS: Out of 54 children's hospices, 33 responded to the survey. There were great variations in the way hospices delivered care after death, notably in length of stay, interventions and equipment. The lack of consistent practice grounded in evidence-based policy and training may mean that some staff experience higher levels of stress and anxiety than others and that some staff take risks when providing care after death, particularly to express empathy towards bereaved families. CONCLUSION(S): Recommendations are made about moving and handling a child's body after death and managing its physiological deterioration. Hospices can use these recommendations to develop policy and training, standardise what is expected of staff and support practitioners in adequately caring for children after death. Copyright © 2022 RCN Publishing Company Ltd. All rights reserved. Not to be copied, transmitted or recorded in any way, in whole or part, without prior permission of the publishers.

Citation List Month

April 2022 List

Collection

Citation

Tatterton M; Honour A; Billington D; Kirkby L; Lyon JA; Lyon N; Gaskin J, “Care after death in children's hospices: recommendations for moving and handling, and for managing physiological deterioration,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed April 14, 2024, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/18016.