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Nursing commentary to “Surrogate decision-making in crisis”
  1. Alice Bernadette Kavati,
  2. Fritzie Ramirez
  1. Neonatal Services, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Alice Bernadette Kavati, Neonatal Services, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK; alicekavati{at}

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The neonatal nurse forges a unique partnership with parents of a critically ill infant who are often, unexpectedly, exposed to the bewildering and complex environment that is neonatal intensive care, helping navigate them through this unchartered territory. Our role is multifaceted, with the primary focus of providing care in the best interests of our patients.1 This is realised through the provision of high-quality evidence-based care, advocating for the needs of the baby and family, and when required acting as a linchpin bridging communication channels between medical and nursing teams, other allied health professionals, and the family.1 2

Ordinarily, the birth of an extremely preterm infant is a distressing, life-changing event for parents; this is further complicated by a number of additional factors in this complex scenario3:

  • The surrogate, who has legal parental responsibility for the baby is herself critically ill and is therefore unable to participate in any discussions surrounding the care of the baby should she have wished to have been involved.

  • The baby is critically ill and clinically deteriorating; her prognosis is poor. Discussions concerning ongoing management …

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed to the development of the ideas. ABK drafted the document which was reviewed by FR. Both authors reviewed the final document.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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