Author: Jake Toy MSIII
Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Pomona, CA
The upper gastrointestinal bleed patient that I had been following since admission was in cardiac arrest in the intensive care unit. The resuscitation effort was routine; however, the presence of his family at bedside was new to me.
One initial concern lay with the patient’s observing family members in regards to the possibility of psychological trauma due to a limited capacity to understand or comprehend the resuscitation events. These concerns have been documented among the medical community and further include the potential for family member disruption and delay of resuscitation efforts, which may directly or indirectly influence treatment outcomes, and the notion of an increased frequency of litigation following family presence during resuscitation (FDPR).[1-3] However, little evidence substantiates these concerns. Current literature suggests FDPR during both out-of-hospital and in-hospital cardiac arrest confers psychological benefits for family members regardless of treatment outcome.[4, 5] What’s more, multiple cohorts of surveyed patients wished their family member(s) to be at bedside should they need to be resuscitated.[6, 7]