MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach’s clinical care team knows that the final stages of life due to a terminal illness or passing of a child is an extremely difficult period. To help families cope with the loss of their loved one, Miller Children’s & Women’s became the first children’s hospital in the nation to offer families ECG Memento©, a new way to memorialize a cherished family member.
ECG Memento was first developed to help grieving families feel connected to their loved one who has passed away at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center, which shares a campus with Miller Children’s & Women’s. Invented by Mary Beiermann, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute at Long Beach Medical Center, ECG Memento is a tangible keepsake that symbolizes the life force of a family member through a personalized laminate of their heartbeat tracing from an electrocardiogram (ECG). Each laminate is created by a nurse within the patient’s unit and comes with a custom, heartfelt condolence message.
Long Beach Medical Center nurses have created numerous adult patient ECG Mementos for more than 250 families. Families have expressed gratitude and appreciation for the comforting gesture — which led to the expansion of ECG Memento to pediatric patients and families at the Cherese Mari Laulhere Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Miller Children’s & Women’s.
In April 2020, Lisa Brown, RN, MSN/Ed, CCRN-K, Cherese Mari Laulhere Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Miller Children’s & Women’s, helped launch ECG Memento for PICU patients and their families. With the donation of a card cutter from Mary, as well as office stationary, ECG Memento has since brought consolation for parents and relatives who have used this complementary service. Any family member can request their child’s heartbeat tracing and typically receive it within the same day.
“I realized we needed to implement the ECG Memento at Miller Children’s & Women’s when the grandmother of a patient asked if she could receive a copy of her grandchild’s ECG heartbeat tracing,” says Lisa. “I wanted to assist her and the families who are undergoing a similar experience. The loss of a child is an extremely difficult process, and the ECG Memento helps bring comfort to families through a meaningful keepsake.”
Lisa is working towards extending the service to other departments at Miller Children’s & Women’s. “ECG Memento has been well received by our patients’ families, nurses and physicians,” says Lisa. “Growing this supportive service throughout Miller Children’s & Women’s is going to help many other families cherish, remember and honor their child’s life.”