Dealing with an unexpected loss
Dealing with the unexpected loss of a patient can be a difficult and emotional experience. You may feel sadness over the patient's death, helplessness over the inability to effect a positive outcome, or fear over mistakes that might have been made. It may help to take some active steps to deal with these feelings.
Here are some of the steps I took to deal with my feelings in a constructive way when a relatively young patient died unexpectedly in our care.
Your resident may feel much worse about the loss than you do. Talk to your resident and attending physician to see how they are feeling. Thank them for all they did for the patient, and ask if there is anything you can do to help.
Do some extra reading based on the patient's history and the complications that developed. This will help you the next time you have a