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Revista da SBPH

versão impressa ISSN 1516-0858


SOUZA, Aniele Lima de et al. Psychological assistance to death in pediatrics unit. Rev. SBPH [online]. 2007, vol.10, n.1, pp. 151-160. ISSN 1516-0858.

Introduction: We live in a society that tends to ignore or avoid death (Kübler-Ross, 2005), since it is an experience that exposes the human being to his own impotence (Freitas, 2000). The confront with the loss, as well as the physical and emotional pain which comes from this experience, seem to be even more intense when it is the loss of a child, because there is an interruption of the expected sequence (Freitas, 2000). Objective: To describe aspects of the experience of the Clinic Psychology Service of a reference hospital in cardiology in RS concerning the assistance given to family members during the moment of death of children attended to at Pediatric Units.  Method: Professional experience report. 35 case-reports of death assisted in the Pediatric Units of the hospital, in 2006, registered on the files of the Service, were studied. The requests for psychological assistance are accomplished by the physicians and nurses in the respective units. Assistance can begin exactly in the moment the death is communicated by the physician, in some cases. Results: The psychological impact of the situation of loss causes reactions of revolt or confusion. Such reactions sometimes require physical contention. Psychology Service is offered as a reference, providing a space which contemplates listening and refuge. Besides, the professional identifies the member of the family that is emotionally capable of carrying on the legal procedures of the burial, directing him or her to the Social Service or to other reference services for the accomplishment of the bureaucratic part of the death. Family members are also followed to the morgue of the hospital, where they can remain with the death child. In such moment the confrontation with death happens in a direct manner. The transit through the mourning process initial phases are followed by the professionals, intervening as mediators in this painful moment. Conclusion: This type of assistance provides wider contemplation and understanding of the psycho-emotional aspects related to death, aiming to help the beginning of a healthy mourning process, both for the family members of the child and for the hospital team.

Palavras-chave : Pediatrics; Death; Psychological assistance; Mourning.

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