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Khansa I, Pearson GD. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2022;10:e4203.
Some clinicians experience profound emotional distress following an adverse event, known as the “second victim” phenomenon. This study of surgical residents in the US found that most residents who reported being part of a medical error had subsequent emotional distress, including guilt, anxiety, and insomnia. Importantly, while three quarters of residents reported they did not get emotional support following the event, all those who did get support reported benefiting from it.
Rivera-Chiauzzi EY, Smith HA, Moore-Murray T, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18:e308-e314.
Peer support programs are increasingly used to support clinicians involved in adverse events. This evaluation found that a structured peer support program for providers involved in obstetric adverse events can effectively support providers in short periods of time (for example, 92% of participants did not need follow-up after second peer support contact) and can be initiated with limited resources.
Winning AM, Merandi J, Rausch JR, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:531-540.
Healthcare professionals involved in a medical error often experience psychological distress. This article describes the validation of a revised version of the Second Victim Experience and Support Tool (SVEST-R), which was expanded to include measures of resilience and desired forms of support.
Finney RE, Czinski S, Fjerstad K, et al. J Pediatr Nurs. 2021;61:312-317.
The term “second victim” refers to a healthcare professional who was involved in a medical error and subsequently experiences psychological distress. An American children’s hospital implemented a peer support program for “second victims” in 2019. Healthcare providers were surveyed before and after implementation of the program with results showing the highest ranked option for support following a traumatic clinical event is peer support. Most respondents indicated they were likely to use the program if a future clinical event were to occur.
Kruper A, Domeyer-Klenske A, Treat R, et al. J Surg Educ. 2021;78:1024-1034.
Physicians commonly experience adverse psychological outcomes after being involved in an adverse event. This mixed-methods study of health care providers in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at one large academic hospital found that three-quarters of providers experienced symptoms of traumatic stress after involvement in an adverse event. Respondents reporting anxiety were more likely to be interested in peer-to-peer support programs, whereas those reporting symptoms of guilt preferred debriefing sessions.

Wands B. AANA J. 2021;89(2):168-174.

Healthcare professionals who experience emotional consequences after adverse events are often referred to as “second victims.” Targeted towards certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), this article discusses second victim experiences in anesthesiology and implications for anesthesia education and training.
Serou N, Husband AK, Forrest SP, et al. J Patient Saf. 2021;17:335-340.
Clinicians involved in a medical error may experience emotional distress, shame, and self-doubt. This qualitative study with medical and non-medical operating room staff at five hospitals in the United Kingdom explored support received after involvement in a patient safety incident. Participants were most likely to receive support from their peers after a patient safety incident, but highlighted a lack of institutional-level emotional and professional support and the need to cultivate an organizational culture where seeking support is not perceived as a sign of weakness.
Rivera-Chiauzzi E, Finney RE, Riggan KA, et al. J Patient Saf. 2022;18(2):e463-e469.
Using a validated tool, this study found that nearly 19% of clinical and nonclinical healthcare workers in obstetrics and gynecology settings reported a second victim experience within the last 12 months.  Survey respondents who identified as a second victim reported significantly more psychological and physical distress, perceived inadequacy of institutional support, decreased professional self-efficacy, and increased turnover intentions. Prior research reported similar findings among nurses in obstetrics and gynecology.
Buhlmann M, Ewens B, Rashidi A. J Clin Nurs. 2020;30:1195-1205.
Adverse events can have significant impacts on the providers involved. This systematic review explored the experiences of critical incidents on nurses and midwives and their perceived support from the healthcare system. The article discusses the emotional, physical, and professional impacts; perceptions of personal, peer and workplace support; and how nurses and midwives move forward and cope with the impact of critical incidents.  
Finney RE, Torbenson VE, Riggan KA, et al. J Nurs Manag. 2021;29:642-652.
Healthcare professionals who experience emotional consequences after adverse events are referred to as ‘second victims’. Nearly half of nurses responding to this survey reported ‘second victim’ events during their career and experienced psychological distress, greater turnover intention, decreased professional self-efficacy, and lack of institutional support. Nurse respondents expressed desires for more peer support interventions for ‘second victim’ experiences.
Engelhardt KE, Bilimoria KY, Johnson JK, et al. JAMA Surg. 2020;155:851-859.
This mixed-methods study analyzed data from a survey of general surgery residents and qualitative interviews with residents and program directors participating in the FIRST trial to assess preparedness for surgical residents. Results indicate the lack of preparedness was associated with inadequate exposure to resident responsibilities while in medical school, such as infrequent overnight calls or not completing a subinternship. Preparedness was associated with a nearly two-fold lower risk of experiencing burnout.
El Hechi MW, Bohnen JD, Westfal M, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2019;230:926-933.
This paper describes the implementation of a "second victim" peer-support program in the surgery department at a tertiary care center. The program trained surgical attendings and trainees to provide peer-support for other surgeons involved in major adverse events. After one-year follow-up, 81% of affected surgeons elected to receive peer support. The majority (81%) felt the program had a positive impact on safety culture by providing a confidential, safe, and timely intervention for so-called "second victims". A 2011 Perspective on Safety with Dr. Albert Wu discussed ways that organizations can support "second victims."
Kaur AP, Levinson AT, Monteiro JFG, et al. J Crit Care. 2019;52:16-21.
The second victim effect has been used to describe the emotional impact that providers may experience when involved in a medical error, adverse event, or unanticipated patient outcome. In this survey study, researchers found that members of a critical care society frequently admitted to experiencing negative emotions such as blame and guilt when responding to questions involving scenarios of different types of errors. Nearly 70% of respondents suggested that team debriefings and talking with colleagues could help mitigate the second victim effect.
Schrøder K, Lamont RF, Jørgensen JS, et al. BJOG. 2019;126:440-442.
Medical errors can have emotional consequences for clinicians. This commentary emphasizes the importance of organizational support for second victims to ensure that these providers receive assistance from their colleagues to remain healthy and productive. The authors suggest that peer support programs are also required in organizations with blame-free cultures to support providers who feel guilt after an error.
Winning AM, Merandi JM, Lewe D, et al. J Adv Nurs. 2018;74:172-180.
Errors can take a significant emotional toll on health care workers, often referred to as the second victim effect. In this survey study, researchers found that neonatal intensive care unit providers involved an adverse event were more likely to experience anxiety and depression. Perceiving coworkers as supportive appeared to moderate this effect.
Coughlan B, Powell D, Higgins MF. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2017;213:11-16.
Maternity care is a high-risk environment. This review discusses second victims in regard to maternity care. The authors highlight the importance of safety culture, disclosure, and peer support as mechanisms to address the needs of staff after adverse events.
McQuaid-Hanson E, Pian-Smith MCM. Anesthesiol Clin. 2017;35:59-67.
Labor and delivery units are high-risk environments where one miscommunication can lead to care breakdowns. This commentary discusses huddles as a strategy to reduce communication errors and debriefings as opportunities to learn from incidents and provide support for second victims.
Han K, Bohnen JD, Peponis T, et al. J Am Coll Surg. 2017;224.
Health care providers who experience psychological harm associated with adverse events are often referred to as second victims. This survey of surgeons found that the majority who could recall an intraoperative adverse event experienced negative emotions, and only a minority accessed formal support systems. This work emphasizes the need to build systems to provide support for second victims.