Yale-New Haven Hospital Always Events: Premature Life Transitions

Organization/Institution: Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital
Principal Investigator(s): Janet Parkosewich, DNSc, RN, CCRN, FAHA

Project Title: Premature Life Transitions: A Patient- and Family- Centered End of Life Care Program for Neonates

Always Event(s): Our proposal for the Always Event TM Grant is aimed at the consistent use of an innovative, systematically applied end-of-life program by all members of our neonatal interdisciplinary team to support patients and families during the transition from curative to palliative care, infant demise, and bereavement.

Overview:This Always Event is dedicated to providing compassionate, patient and family centered end-of-life (EOL) care to approximately 90 families whose infants die every year in our Newborn Special Care Unit.  The specific aims are 1) to create the infrastructure required to implement an innovative and systematically applied neonatal EOL care program and 2) to empower the neonatal interdisciplinary team with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide this level of care every day to every patient and family as they transition from curative to end-of-life care, infant death, and bereavement.



Despite advances in neonatal care, more children die in the perinatal and neonatal period than in any other time in childhood.  Often referred to as perinatal loss (a non-voluntary end of pregnancy that encompasses the time from conception through 28 days of a newborn’s life), this devastating event affects 1 million women across the nation.  On a local level, in 2010, Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH) experienced 90 neonatal deaths, 58 deaths in the Newborn Special Care Unit (NBSCU) and 32 stillbirths in the Labor and Birth Unit.  The former unit is the site for our Always Event Project, entitled Premature Life Transitions (Transitions). The overall aims of this project are:

  1. To create the infrastructure required to implement an innovative and systematically applied neonatal end-of-life care program
  2. To empower the neonatal interdisciplinary team with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide compassionate, patient and family centered care every day to every patient and family as they transition from curative to end-of-life care, infant death, and bereavement.

 

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