Emergency Room Vignettes

By H. I. Grousbeck, C. G. Prober, Alexander Tauber
2010 | Case No. ETH8 | Length 7 pgs.
This case explores three tragic situations that lent themselves to organ donation. In each situation, doctors across the Midwest must work to save borderline deaths while communicating the tragic results to family. The first case deals with an accidental drowning of a toddler in the home pool. The second is a drunk-driving case of an eighteen-year-old resulting in a car crash and lost lives of a couple. Third, a young boy commits suicide by hanging. In each case, extensive details of their death and the timeline of the situation are given. The cases detail why each situation allows for organ donation.

Learning Objective

The tragic stories of each death are portrayed to provide a few learning lessons. The importance of the doctor’s communication with family members in a tragic situation, and the way in which it can completely alter the healing process and allow for the survival of another in need of organ donation, is a theme throughout the three cases. The strategy a doctor chooses to discuss situations with his/her patients can be planned to help ease the pain.
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