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Post-mortem care (EXITUS)

Care of the deceased body of a person in a hospital.


– Guarantee the dignity of the deceased and respect for the family. – Help family members in the first moments to cope with the process of death, in order to develop a functional mourning. – Prepare the corpse for transfer to the morgue.


– Linen equipment: gowns, sheets, towels. – Shroud. – Dressing trolley.


– Patient’s hygiene material or cleaning utensils. – Gloves. – Mask. – Patient identification bracelets.


– The person responsible for all interventions will be the nurse in charge of the patient at the time of death. – Start post-mortem care after confirmation by the physician. – Inform the family as soon as possible, verifying their identification and relationship. – Consult the family about their usual religious practices and act accordingly. – Preserve the family’s privacy: Separate from roommate with curtain or screen. – Allow the family to stay with the deceased as long as necessary. – If the deceased is alone, collect belongings in a bag and notify the family. – Maintain a calm atmosphere and allow the expression of feelings. – Ensure a clean and neat image of the deceased: – Disconnect and remove all equipment except if necropsy is to be performed, do not remove probes, drains or catheters (only clamp and close keys). – Keep the identification bracelet. – Hygiene of the deceased as needed. Do not plug orifices. – Clean wounds and change soiled dressings. – Close eyes and keep jaw closed. Fit prosthesis if possible. – Make the bed. – Maintain a dignified position of the deceased: supine, arms on both sides of the body, palms down and ankles together. – Wrap in a sheet and put the shroud. – Keep the body aligned. – Put an identification label on the shroud. – Each center will designate the person in charge of informing the relatives of the procedures to be followed with the deceased. – The death certificate will be completed by the doctor on duty. – Notify the admission, kitchen, and pharmacy services of the death. – Compile the medical history to be sent to the archives. – Collection of material: collect clothes and belongings, notify the cleaning service. – Notify the admission service of bed availability. – The nurse will record in the nursing evolution: last measures to prevent death, cause of death, time, and date.

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