Persons dying suddenly are very likely to be taken to the nearest Accident and Emergency Department. The task of informing and counselling bereaved relatives therefore frequently falls to the staff of these Departments. Adequate preparation is important in allowing such situations to be dealt with in a sensitive and appropriate manner. Advice on coping with different aspects of sudden death is given and some common reactions discussed. Special problems are also considered (eg, the death of a child, criminal violence, communication difficulties). Aftercare must also not be forgotten and staff should receive training in the care of the bereaved.
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