Breaking bad news to patients when they are alone
“Today, we got called on a patient in the ICU who recently had a new brain mass removed surgically. The specimen came back positive for an aggressive brain tumor known as glioblastoma multiforme. We discussed his diagnosis and prognosis with him at bedside alone, with his wife and daughter on speakerphone given visitor restrictions due to the current coronavirus pandemic.
Unfortunately, this type of situation is rather familiar to us. We are used to breaking bad news, comforting patients during their times of need, and then shifting to our usual survival tactic of orchestrating a treatment plan. While many aspects of this exchange were similar, there were unique variables that grabbed my attention, given our current circumstances.”
Azam J. Farooqui is a hematology-oncology physician.
He shares his story, global health perspective, and discusses his KevinMD article, “Breaking bad news to patients when they are alone.” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/03/breaking-bad-news-to-patients-when-they-are-alone.html)