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Pediatrician. 1988;15(4):179-82.

Supporting the SIDS family.

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Massachusetts Center for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Boston City Hospital.


Pediatric health professionals are often uncomfortable following a sudden unexpected death in their practice. Anxiety and grief by the pediatrician can prevent the practitioner from using even the most basic grief counseling skills. However, the pediatrician, while deeply affected by the death, is in a unique position to meet the needs of parents and siblings. Often, the pediatrician is the only contact families have with the medical world. This report outlines the techniques we have used to support families during this period of loss. Alleviating guilt, by providing information in a sensitive manner, explaining autopsy results, providing guidance for surviving children, and understanding the effects of loss on a subsequent pregnancy are part of the role the pediatrician can assume. Parents have consistently reported how beneficial it was when pediatricians took the time to listen to their concerns and problems following a sudden and unexpected infant death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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