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A Bereavement Model for the Intensive Care Nursery

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The death of an infant in a neonatal intensive care unit presents unique challenges to the infant's family and caregivers. The grieving process may begin before the infant is born and continue for months, even years, after the death. Parents and families often feel isolated as they grieve the loss of a child whom few other people knew. Caregivers may also feel overwhelmed during this time, as they seek to provide decedent care in a sensitive way that will be helpful to the family while grieving themselves. Recognizing the needs of the families and caregivers, the Duke University Medical Center Intensive Care Nursery developed a bereavement program that provides education and assistance to the intensive care nursery staff, who care for the family at the time of death and provide follow-up for the family for up to one year after the death as they grieve the loss of their infant.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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