Words one shouldn't say to a patient or his family when there is a medical complication.
1. YOU signed the consents for surgery and anesthesia.
2. Are you receiving counseling? You need to get over it.
3. These things happen and you may never know what went wrong.
4. I knew there was a problem when I heard the alarms.
5. I have no idea what happened--go ask a specialist.
6. I guess I can squeeze you in for a meeting but I'm very busy.
7. I don't have to share the M&M and QA investigations with you.
8. I didn't tell the resident to begin surgery alone.
9. Medicine is an imperfect science--I did nothing wrong.
Sage advice from a mom whose child died during surgery and has never been told the etiology.