When an unresponsive infant is brought to the emergency room of the hospital, the child is examined and resuscitation is initiated or continued. Parents may be present during the resuscitation process or remain in a private room. An attending nurse, social worker or other medical professional informs parents of the child's condition frequently.
When the mother and father are informed of their child’s death, emergency staff offers emotional support and encourage parents to see and hold their child. Before the parents leave the hospital, staff ascertains where and how the parents can be contacted in the immediate future.
Telephone contact with the family is made by the SIDS Center staff within 24-48 hours of referral to provide crisis counseling, preliminary autopsy information and notification that a bereavement counselor will call to schedule a home visit. A condolence letter is sent to the family with brochures and other information about the cause of death and the grieving process.
All families are informed of parent support group meetings and availability of parent-to-parent contact. We encourage participation in support groups because they provide a nurturing environment in which parents can express their feelings, meet other grieving parents and receive reliable information.