Health

‘It’s very hard to tell parents their child is no more’: Surgeon at heart of moving BBC NHS documentary Hospital reveals harrowing moment doctors have to tell families a loved one is dead

Working 14 hour days and operating on children’s hearts sometimes no bigger than a strawberry, Dr Ramana Dhannpuneni’s job is difficult by any measure.

But the hardest part, the children’s heart surgeon says, is telling the parents when their child doesn’t survive an operation.

A consultant at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Dr Dhannapuneni stars in tonight’s episode of the BBC’s Hospital series, when viewers will see him at work. 

The 51-year-old father of two has revealed how he tries not be human during surgery, turning into a medical machine, and how, when one of his young patients dies, he ‘shuts down’ and feels depressed ‘for a day or two’.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Dr Dhannapuneni – known to his colleagues as Ram – says telling distraught parents their child has died is the toughest thing he ever does.

‘It’s very hard to tell parents that their child is no more,’ he told the newspaper. ‘It’s the toughest thing you do.

‘It’s different when you’re doing adult surgery – you’re talking to relatives and it’s mostly older patients. 

‘When you’re dealing with children, the emotional side of things is maybe 100 times more.’ 

Original Source


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