chapter  13
10 Pages

Emergencies in Complications Following Loss

Consider the following: It is a Sunday morning and the phone rings. On the other end is a request for assistance. The 50-year-old woman who has lost her mother 2 days ago is calling about her 85-year-old father. In the brief telephone consultation, you learn that the woman’s parents were married for 55 years, were living in an assisted living facility, and the mother had fallen and died shortly thereafter. The father is crying constantly, shouting, and repeatedly voicing his wish to die. He has been on antidepressant medications for several years and had been considered stable, but the physicians monitoring the drug did not know him well at all. In response to his acute response, the medical officer at the living facility had given him an intramuscular injection of Valium which calmed him only briefly.