Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.
   
     
     
     



Stroger Hospital reaches out to families of dying

Thursday, August 11, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
by JIM RITTER Health Reporter

The young man was brought to Stroger Hospital with gunshot wounds in his chest, neck, abdomen and legs.

"Am I going to make it?" he asked trauma surgeon Dr. Roxanne Roberts.

"We'll do our best," she answered.

Roberts worked on his abdomen while an orthopedic surgeon stabilized broken leg bones and a vascular surgeon tried to stop the bleeding. When the patient went into cardiac arrest, Roberts opened his chest and tried to jump-start his heart.

But he died on the table. And afterward, Roberts could spare only 10 or 15 minutes to break the news to the man's family and explain everything that happened.

"I'm embarrassed by that, but I had other seriously sick patients," she said.

$175,000 grant

Stroger's famed trauma unit saves the lives of a remarkable 98 percent of the patients who suffer severe injuries from high-speed car crashes, falls, gunshots, etc. and are still alive when they arrive at the hospital.

But officials say trauma units at Stroger and other hospitals could do a better job serving the non-medical needs of dying patients and their families.

"We're overwhelmed medically taking care of sick patients," Roberts said. "I don't have the time or training for bereavement counseling."

That may be changing. On Wednesday, the hospital received a $175,000 grant from Aetna and the Aetna Foundation to develop a hospice-like program for dying patients and their families. The idea is for Stroger to serve as a model for other trauma centers.

Training for doctors, nurses

Such a program likely will include training doctors and nurses on how to talk to dying patients and their families. "Many of us hide behind medicalese and medical technology," Roberts said.

The program also could include social services to help families to, for example, find a funeral home or view the body.

Nurse Susan Avila, who will help design the program, gives an example of what a program could offer. The case involved a woman who was brought to the trauma unit after being run over by a truck in a traffic accident.

She was bleeding to death and in severe pain, but had the presence of mind to plead for someone to pick up her child at school. Moments after the woman was told that such arrangements had been made, she lapsed into a coma and died.

In a traditional hospice, patients and families generally have weeks or months to prepare for death. In a trauma unit, the process can take only minutes or hours. Hospice patients typically are elderly, but at Stroger's trauma unit, the average age of death is 32.

Another difference: In a traditional hospice, doctors stop trying for a cure, and focus instead on making the patient as comfortable and pain-free as possible. In the trauma unit, doctors keep trying to save the patient, even while preparing families for the possibility the patient could die.

'It sucks the life out of you'

Some patients are dead on arrival or die within a few minutes. Some survive a day or two, while others spend two or three months in intensive care, facing life-threatening crises such as infections and emergency surgeries.

Perhaps the hardest part of a trauma surgeon's job is losing a patient and breaking the news to the family. "It sucks the life out of you for the night," said trauma surgeon Dr. Faran Bokhari.

Roberts has had to break the news dozens of times. She usually meets the family in a conference room, often with as many as 20 relatives. After Roberts returns to work, a nurse stays behind to comfort the family and answer questions.

"It's different every time," Roberts said. "And it's heartbreaking every time."



Recent Headlines

Cook County General Hospital's $90-Million Redevelopment Saves a Chicago Icon
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Engineering News Rec ord

Illinois Land Title Association Granted Summary Judgment in Case against Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Sunday, March 17, 2019
Illinois State Bar Association

Grand Jury Indicts Debt Collector of Bribing Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown
Friday, March 15, 2019
WBBM Chicago

Indictment: Cook County's hired debt collector charged with bribing county officials to secure county contract
Friday, March 15, 2019
Cook County record

Karen Chavers Honored as 2019 Unsung Heroine
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Pappas to announce deadline for Cook County property owners to pay late taxes
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Courts Cause Confusion For Woman Trying To Resolve Her Case
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
CBS Chicago

Census changes raise fears of Illinois undercounting
Monday, March 11, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Sheriff Warns of Apple Phone Scam
Monday, March 11, 2019
WTTW News

Caller poses as Apple to get victims personal info in scam targeting Cook County residents
Monday, March 11, 2019
WGN Chicago

Should Young Adults Be Sent To Juvenile Courts?
Sunday, March 10, 2019
NPR Radio

Cook County Jail hires 2nd consecutive mental health professional as warden
Wednesday, March 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawsuit: Sheriff jailed dozens because of faulty electronic monitoring devices
Monday, March 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Woman dies while in custody at Cook County Jail
Sunday, March 03, 2019
Fox 32

City considers landmarking old Cook County Hospital
Friday, March 01, 2019
Gazette Chicago

Judge: State constitution doesn't force Cook County to spend $250M more on roads, transport projects
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Cook County Rrecord

City Club of Chicago: Cook County Housing Authority Executive Director Richard Monocchio
Thursday, February 28, 2019
WGN Chicago

Illinois hospitals seek reform of Medicaid managed care system
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Effingham Daily News

Cook County Juvenile Court Clinicís Annual Report
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Special to suffredin.org

Glenview open house a 'one stop service' for new, existing residents to learn about town offerings
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Glenview Announcements

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP