Communication: Breaking Bad News

Communication Scenario

Discussion with parents: Child suspected to have Treacher Collins syndrome

Candidate:  You are the registrar in the paediatric unit.


Sam, baby boy is born by SVD. His APGAR scores were 7, 9 &10, weight is 3.5 kg. He is noted to have deformed ears, with no obvious ear canals visible. He also has a small mandible.

Ward sister calls you to post natal ward to speak to the parents as they are very anxious. Mother has a friend who has difficulty hearing

 Setting: Post natal ward, side room with Sam in a cot.

Task: To speak to Anne – Sam’s mother or his father about their concerns.

You are not expected to gather any further medical history but answer any queries that may arise during the discussion.

You have 9 minutes to complete the station; a warning bell will be given at 6 minutes.