Chapter 3: Problematic and critical issues


“It was only 1 hour and 10 minutes from the time of her admission to death. Things were moving so quickly we didn‘t even have time to get her name. We were too busy trying to save her life”. – ICU Nurse

Sometimes a family member will have an intense reaction or become immobilized as they witness and experience a traumatic ICU situation. On occasion, these reactions will require you to draw on skills that you may not use every day. These critical situations include the family member going into major distress possibly requiring professional referral or intervention; the patient experiencing quick deterioration or a long ICU admission resulting in death.  

This chapter addresses some of these situations and offer suggestions on how you can respond to these challenges.

We can’t fix the unfixable