The development of an intervention model for managing abrupt death trajectories in KwaZulu-Natal level 1 emergency departments.
AIM: The aim of this research was to describe how the health professionals manage sudden/abrupt deaths in the ED and to foster change in current practice by involving the clients (dead or dying clients and their families) and the health professionals. METHOD: Action research was the approach used in this four year research project, and co-researchers (nurses) from three Level I ED's in KwaZulu-Natal were actively involved in shaping and guiding the project. The participants involved in the research were health professionals, bereaved families and mortuary staff members. FINDINGS: An intervention model, the Dealing with Sudden Death Model, was developed in order to guide the therapeutic management of sudden/abrupt deaths in ED's. Along with this was the development of the family pamphlet, the Preparation Checklist and the Incident Evaluation Checklist. Following the implementation of this model the health professionals emphasized the fact that this model provided guidance and meaning to the care rendered to the dead or dying client, the bereaved families and fellow colleagues. The Dealing with Sudden Death Model had resulted in a production of knowledge and planned changes in the management of sudden/abrupt deaths in the ED's.