Article Text

PDF
In the aftermath of a perioperative death: who cares for the clinician?
  1. Daniel Rodger1,
  2. Heather Hartley2,3
  1. 1 Allied Health Sciences, London South Bank University, School of Health and Social Care, London, UK
  2. 2 School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Professional Practice, Surgical Department, Quinte Healthcare, Belleville, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Mr Daniel Rodger, London South Bank University School of Health and Social Care, London SE1 0AA, UK; daniel.rodger{at}lsbu.ac.uk

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Working in the perioperative environment entails exposure to traumatic and sometimes catastrophic events such as a perioperative death (PD). PD can be a uniquely devastating experience and has the potential to lead to long-term negative physical and psychological effects for the staff involved, especially when appropriate support is absent.1 2 In a number of practice settings, these destabilising effects have been shown to detrimentally compromise individual and team performance.1 3 This is of particular concern in the perioperative setting, since deterioration of individual competence and subsequent team performance has been directly linked to poor patient outcomes.4 5 Despite numerous studies establishing this link, there has been little research exploring clinicians’ experiences of PD, and organisational support for front-line clinicians remains alarmingly inconsistent. The question remains: who is responsible for the clinician in the aftermath of a PD?

A PD describes the death of a patient occurring throughout the perioperative period, after their arrival in the anaesthetic room and before leaving the postanaesthesia care unit.6 PD has been identified as an international issue; in 2009, the World Health Organization flagged …

View Full Text

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.