Support of the family and staff

Renee D. Boss, Carl Waldman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Introduction A critical illness in a pregnant woman is often a crisis for her entire family – the woman herself, her fetus, her partner, other children, and extended family and loved ones. The family burden becomes even greater if the infant is delivered and requires intensive care while the mother remains critically ill. In addition to stabilizing and treating the patient’s acute medical problems, interdisciplinary clinicians must also anticipate and address the family’s needs; this optimizes their ability to be fully engaged in supporting the patient, supporting each other, and acting as surrogate decision makers. While individual families have unique challenges and needs, a number of resources from clinicians and the healthcare system can benefit most families. Critical care staff caring for the patient and her fetus or newborn also benefit from systematic supports, as they are repeatedly exposed to patient trauma, family crisis, and loss. Failure to routinely address staff moral and emotional distress can result in compassion fatigue and burnout.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaternal Critical Care
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781139088084
ISBN (Print)9781107018495
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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