Photographs and mementos THE EMERGENCY NURSE’S ROLE FOLLOWING SUDDEN INFANT DEATH
Mary Osborne A&E staff nurse, Leighton Hospital Crewe
Mary Osborne offers guidance on the sensitive subject of taking photographs and mementos following the sudden death of an infant In March 1999, Ms Osborne walked 100 kilometres across the Jordanian desert to raise money for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths
This article examines the taking of mementos when dealing with a victim of cot death in an A&E department. Cot death is defined as ‘the sudden and unexpected death of a baby for no obvious reason’ (FSID 1997a). The vast majority of deaths occur between one month and one year of life. In the UK, cot death is the most common category of death between the ages of one month and one year and is responsible for claiming more lives between the ages of one month and 14 years than any other cause (FSID 1997a). Although the well publicised campaign to put babies to sleep on their backs has reduced the incidence of cot deaths, there are still nine babies a week in the UK who mysteriously and unexpectedly die (FSID 1997b).
7, 9, 23-25.
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