Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee (JRCALC) Clinical Guidelines 2016..Bridgwater: Class Professional Publishing; 2016

Avraham N, Goldblatt H, Yafe E. Paramedics' experiences and coping strategies when encountering critical incidents.. Qual Health Res. 2014; 24:194-208

Bolton S. Who cares? Offering emotion work as a ‘gift’ in the nursing labour process.. J Adv Nurs. 2000; 32:580-586

Boyle M. You wait until you get home: emotional regions, emotional process work, and the role of onstage and offstage support.. In: Wifred CEJH, Zerbe J, Ashkanasy M (Eds). London: Routledge; 2013

Douglas L, Cheskes S, Feldman M, Ratnapalan S. Paramedics' experiences with death notification: a qualitative study.. J Para Pract. 2012; 4:533-539

Bereaved parents' experience of stillbirth in UK hospitals: a qualitative interview study.. 2013. https// (accessed 26 November 2020)

Hall W, Myers J, Pepe P, Larkin G, Sirbaugh P, Persse D. The perspective of paramedics about on-scene termination of resuscitation efforts for pediatric patients.. Resuscitation. 2004; 60:175-187

Heazell AE, Siassakos D, Blencowe H Stillbirths: economic and psychosocial consequences.. Lancet. 2016; 387:604-616

Hobgood C, Mathew D, Woodyard D, Shofer F, Brice J. Death in the field: teaching paramedics to deliver effective death notifications using the educational intervention “GRIEV_ING”.. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2013; 17:501-510

Jurišová E. Coping strategies and post-traumatic growth in paramedics: moderating effect of specific self-efficacy and positive/negative affectivity.. Studia Psychologica. 2016; 58:259-275

Kirby R, Shakespeare-Finch J, Palk G. Adaptive and maladaptive coping strategies predict posttrauma outcomes in ambulance personnel.. Traumatology. 2011; 17:25-34

Muñoz MG. Performing, and emotionally surviving, notifications of death to a patient's family.. J Emerg Med Serv. 2016; 41:42-44

Purves Y, Edwards S. Initial needs of bereaved relatives following sudden and unexpected death.. Emerg Nurs. 2005; 13:28-34

Listening to parents after stillbirth or the death of their baby after birth.. 2014. https// (accessed 26 November 2020)

Reed K, Ellis J. Uncovering hidden emotional work: professional practice in paediatric post-mortem.. Sociology. 2020; 54:(2)312-328

Reed K, Whitby E, Ellis J. Remembering baby.. Bereavement Care. 2018; 37:88-91

Regehr C, Goldberg G, Hughes J. Exposure to human tragedy, empathy, and trauma in ambulance paramedics.. Am J Orthopsychiatr. 2002; 72:505-513

Royal College of Pathologists, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Sudden unexpected death in infancy and childhood Multi-agency guidelines for care and investigation. 2016. https// (accessed 26 November 2020)

Tomlinson A, Martindale E, Bancroft K, Heazell A. Improved management of stillbirth using a care pathway.. Int J Health Govern. 2018; 23:18-37

Williams A. The strategies used to deal with emotion work in student paramedic practice.. Nurs Educ Pract. 2013; 13:207-212

Miscarriage, SUDI and neonatal death: paramedic experience and practice

02 December 2020
Volume 12 · Issue 12


This article aims to provide an exploratory investigation into paramedic experiences of attending cases of miscarriage, sudden and unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) and other forms of neonatal loss. It draws on a background literature review, but focuses primarily on exploring issues raised by paramedics during a structured discussion group on this topic. Existing literature highlights the ways in which baby and infant death is one of the most stressful and challenging areas of paramedic practice. Paramedics participating in our discussion group reinforced this issue, identifying five key areas of concern: baby loss as a rare occurrence, resuscitation, lack of information concerning the post-admissions process, professional closure, and support to parents. Further research is needed, along with better support and guidelines to assist paramedics with a wide range of issues from resuscitation to bereavement.

Paramedics are often called out to cases of miscarriage and may be the first professionals on scene in cases of sudden and unexpected death in infancy (SUDI). Limited attention has been paid, however, to this particular aspect of paramedic work. Research frequently shows that of all the events paramedics attend, infant and child death is often reported as one of the most distressing ones (Regehr et al, 2002; Douglas et al, 2012; Boyle, 2013). It is crucial therefore to shed light on this neglected area of paramedic practice. This is a scoping paper which offers a brief analysis of existing literature. The main part of the paper focuses on exploring key concerns raised by paramedics during a structured discussion which focused on issues that paramedics found particularly challenging regarding cases of baby loss. The overall purpose of this paper is to identify gaps in existing knowledge, illuminating key areas for development in future research and training.

Subscribe to get full access to the Journal of Paramedic Practice

Thank you for visiting the Journal of Paramedic Practice and reading our archive of expert clinical content. If you would like to read more from the only journal dedicated to those working in emergency care, you can start your subscription today for just £48.

What's included

  • CPD Focus

  • Develop your career

  • Stay informed