Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Should family members be present during CPR?

Although “open resuscitation” is increasingly popular what is the impact on resuscitation performance? From a study published in Critical Care Medicine:

The time to critical events was similar across groups with respect to initiating CPR, attempting to intubate the patient, and pronouncing the death of the patient. However, the time to deliver the first defibrillation shock was longer for the overt reaction witness group (2.57 minutes) as compared with the quiet (1.77 minutes) and no family witness (1.67 minutes) groups. Additionally, fewer total shocks were delivered in the overt reaction witness groups (4.0 minutes) vs. the quiet (6.5 minutes) and no family witness groups (6.0 minutes).

Conclusion: The presence of a family witness may have a significant impact on physicians' ability to perform critical actions during simulated medical resuscitations. Further study is necessary to see if this effect crosses over into real clinical practice and if training ameliorates this effect.

H/T to The Hospitalist

The obvious limitation here is that the study was of simulated resuscitations.

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