Episode 12: Breaking Bad News


YouTube videos:

From the police officer’s perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toaA_TNwcxg

From the mother’s perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KJZXOKStao

The paper about watching resuscitation is this one:


This is a section taken from the London Ambulance Service clinical bulletin, from 2011, which includes the SPIKES mnemonic:


The alternative mnemonic mentioned in the podcast is GRIEV_ING, which has been developed for use in the ED.



Baile WF, Buckman R, Lenzi R, Glober G, Beale EA, Kudelka AP. Spikes – a six-step protocol for delivering bad news: Application to the patient with cancer. The Oncologist. 2000; 5: 302-311.

Hobgood C, Harward D, Newton K, Davis W. The educational intervention “GRIEV_ING” improves the death notification skills of residents. Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine. 2005; 12: 296-301.

Jabre P, Belpomme V, Azoulay E et al. Fanily presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2013: 368 (11): 1008-1018.

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