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Initial Care and Follow-Up

When an unresponsive infant is brought to the hospital emergency room, the child is examined and resuscitation 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 their child's condition. When the mother and father are informed of their child’s death, staff offer emotional support and encourage parents to see and hold their child. Before parents leave the hospital, staff ascertains where and how they can be contacted.

SIDS Center staff contacts the family 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 appropriate information about 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.