How Do Healthcare Providers Feel About Family Presence During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation?


Alicia Pérez Blanco


The presence of patients’ families during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a controversial topic, due to its repercussions for clinical practice. While family members’ presence may help them to overcome their grief, it could be detrimental, as it may case posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and there is the possibility that family members may interfere with the procedure. For these reasons, families’ presence during CPR has rejected by some healthcare providers.


To research concerns about families’ presence among providers dealing with CPR in the Fundación Hospital Alcorcón (Madrid), I performed this study. Of the 190 providers surveyed, 115 submitted a complete questionnaire. The most frequently reported concerns were interference (78.3 percent of respondents), and PTSD (69.6 percent of respondents). Fewer pediatric providers were concerned about PTSD than other providers (41.2% percent versus 74.5 percent, p = 0.01). Providers were reluctant to offer families the option of being present unless they had requested it, and would only permit it under certain conditions. Having a staff member to support the family was of great value to most respondents. The author believes families have a negative right to be present during CPR and so should be invited to stay.


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