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Bereavement follow-up: Connecting with those who are left behind
As we look beyond ICU to the impact of critical illness and intensive care therapy on survivors, we also recognise the impact on the bereaved. Complicated or difficult grief and post traumatic distress are common experiences after a bereavement in ICU. Follow up by intensive care teams can help address questions that may be barriers to grieving. Learning more about the experience of the bereaved in our units can help us improve the care we provide to dying patients and their families, and the support we provide to clinicians caring for patients.
This presentation will discuss what we know about grief after a death in ICU. The evidence for bereavement follow up will be reviewed. Guiding principles for follow up teams, which acknowledge the limitations of the evidence and the vulnerability of those followed up, will be discussed.