Category: Critical Care
Keywords: Resuscitation, CPR, family, policy (PubMed Search)
When surveyed, half of general medicine patients interviewed stated that they would prefer to have a loved one present if they were to develop cardiac arrest and require CPR. So far, studies have demonstrated that…
Allowing family presence during CPR is associated with the following benefits to family members:
And is NOT associated with a difference in:
Several studies have demonstrated benefits to patient family members who are offered the opportunity to witness ongoing CPR when their loved one develops cardiac arrest. These benefits--decreased rates of PTSD-related symptoms, anxiety, depression (including need for medication, professional treatment, and suicide attempts), and complicated grief--have been shown to persist at 1 year post-resuscitation event.
Themes that arise when discussing the resuscitations with family members afterward include:
1. The feeling of active involvement in the resuscitation process
2. Communication with the resuscitation team
3. Perception of the reality of death
4. Experience of and reaction to witnessing (or not witnessing) the resuscitation
Twelve percent of family members who chose to NOT be present during CPR expressed regret at their choice, versus three percent of relatives who chose to be present.
Negative outcomes cited by family members who witnessed CPR involved feeling like they were not being communicated with, or that their loved one was being over-zealously resuscitated.