The effect of family presence was studied by Mangurten et al (2006) and Holzhauser et al (2006). Mangurten and colleagues focused on the presence during invasive procedures in pediatric emergency department and the study suggests that the majority of the staff (70 %) initially support the idea of parental presence and have impressions about it as a result, as the procedures, associated with resuscitation, are substantially facilitated by parental presence, which helps children avoid falling into panic and decreases their fear.
Parents, in turn, demonstrate greater willingness to be an active observer of the resuscitation, moreover, the study by Holzhauser et al (2006) shows that they have no traumatic memories as a result, as the study participants “ believed it helped their child, and reported that it eased their fears” (Holzhauser et al, 2006, p. 144). Barrett and Wallis (1998) also indicate that the family presence during the resuscitation of an adult patient has slightly positive effect even in the case the team’s failure to re-establish the vital physical functions.
Even in the lethal cases, family members feel involved into the process of resuscitation and appear more capable of reconciling to the fact of death. The team members, in turn, feel more inconveniences, as a number of physicians and nurses report the feeling of surveillance, which affects their performance. This tendency, however, is noticed only in unprepared teams, so the logical solution of the lack of agreement among patients, family members and providers is training (Meyers et al, 2000; McGahey, 2002).
According to Meyers at al, issues to be addressed in the sessions “include barriers to allowing families in, legal and risk management issues, timing, family support, and logistics of allowing families into the resuscitation rooms” (Meyers et al, 2000, p. 34). To sum up, the literature suggests positive impact of family presence in the resuscitation room especially in pediatric emergency departments, due to the significant psychological effect of the family unity. On the other hand, providers’ stereotypes should also be taken into consideration and used as a foundation for special training in this direction.
The studies substantially enrich the knowledge base in nursing, especially the research by Barrett and Wallis (1999), which stresses the impact of family presence in case of the resuscitation failure, as this aspect is overlooked by Meyers et al (2000) in their guidelines for the training. Due to the fact that the low success of resuscitation might be potentially traumatic for family members and providers, the number of studies, stressing this aspect, is comparatively insignificant.
Thus, I would suggest a more profound randomized trial, which focuses on the difference between family members’ perceptions of the resuscitation failure as a comparison of the families, who were allowed into the room and those who didn’t observe the procedures. Reference list Barrett, F. & Wallis, D. (1998). Relatives in the resuscitation room: Their point of view. J Accid Emergency Med, 15, 109-111. Bassler, P. (1999). The Impact of Education on Nurses Beliefs Regarding Family Presence in a Resuscitation Room. Journal for nurses in Staff Development, 15 (3): 126-131.
Heckendorn, J. , Chakel, S. , Ubel, P. and Engel, K. (2005). Family Presence During Critical Resuscitation in the Emergency Department: Do Patients and Family Members Agree? Academic Emergency Medicine, 12 (5): 80-89. Holzhauser, K. , Finucane, J. and De Vries, S. (2006)/ Family Presence During Resuscitation: A Randomized Controlled Trial of the Impact of Family Presence. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal, 8 (4): 1390147. Mangurten, J. , Scott, S. , Guzzetta, C. , Vinson, L. , Sperry, J. , Hicks, B. and Voelmeck, W. (2006).
Effects of family presence during resuscitation and invasive procedures in a pediatric emergency department. J Emerg Nurs, 32 (3): 225-233. Marrone, L. and Fogg, C. (2003). Should the family members be present during resuscitation? Nursing, 10: 32-40. McGahey, P. (2002). Family Presence During Pediatric Resuscitation: A Focus on Staff. Cait Care Nurse, 22 (6): 29-34. Meyers, T. , Eichorn, D and Guzzetta, C. (2000). Family Presence During invasive procedures and resuscitation: the experience of family members, nurses and physicians. Am J Nurs, 100: 32-42.