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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2007 Aug-Sep;24(4):311-7.

Should family members be present during cardiopulmonary resuscitation? A review of the literature.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, 834 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


During resuscitation, family members are often escorted out of the room for fear of immediate and long-term consequences to the family, the patient, and the physician. However, mounting evidence suggests that family presence during resuscitation could, in fact, be beneficial. The Emergency Nurses Association and the American Heart Association endorse family-witnessed resuscitation and the development of hospital policies to facilitate this process. However, the opinions on family-witnessed resuscitation vary widely, and few hospitals in the United States have developed formal policies on the presence of families during cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In this article, we review the current status of family-witnessed resuscitation and provide recommendations on the development of hospital policies for family-witnessed resuscitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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