Table 3

Parental quotes on understanding the cause of death

ThemeReference numberQuote
Needing to know cause of death3.1Yes, I suppose I felt it was quite important really to hear what the findings were really because it was unexpected, she was such a healthy girl and it was such a shock…I really wanted to know and that was all really I guess. (father, SIDS case)
Anxiety while waiting for results3.2That's what you…you turn it on yourself when you don't hear anything, then you make things up in your head. ‘It must have been this, it must have been this, it must have been this’…because you don't know anything…Which leaves me to sit there wondering what it was and thinking ‘we don't know anything about the toxicology’ and I'm thinking ‘how could you possibly have poisoned…how have you poisoned him?’ Well you don't know, until that comes back, you don't know, and that was weeks. (mother, SIDS case)
Comfort from knowing the cause of death3.3…for me that was amazing, seeing her [the mother] the week after [explaining the cause of death] because she was just a totally different woman. This was a woman that didn't go outside, never smiled and she was up, she was dressed, she was, you know, smiling…a totally, totally different woman from when we first saw her, it was just amazing, just the results of that just changed her completely. (nurse, medically explained death)
Distress at no explanation for the death3.4It's just, not having an answer; I don't think it's fair like…why? (mother, SIDS case)
  • SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome.