Active Resuscitation

Students are required to submit an essay to evaluate the evidence to support the nursing
intervention(s) utilised in the care of a patient in the specialty care settings. Students are to
conduct a relevant systematic review to identify what evidence supports or does not
support the intervention(s) identified and discuss this comprehensively and critically.
My chosen topic is: Discuss the evidence to support the presence of family members during
the active resuscitation of a patient.
Student are advised to review the marking criteria to achieve maximum results for the
Must also in text reference and just wondering if would be provided with a reference page?

Active Resuscitation

In the traditional hospital setting, most family members were always excluded from a
resuscitation room, especially when life-saving measures are being initiated. The nurses would
occasionally break away from the room to update the family members on the status and progress
of their loved ones (Abre, et al, 2013). In this ancient era, the contribution of family members in
the process of resuscitation was not appreciated; instead they were seen as a source of constant
interruptions during that critical time. However, research shows that the system is changing, and
families nowadays more often than not are able to exercise their right of being present in the
resuscitation room beside their loved ones (Marco, 2011). In the United Sates, allowing these
family members to be present especially during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has yielded
a bone of contention across the medical field, giving rise to heated debates (Hung & Pang, 2011).
In the past two decades, however, the inclusion of family members in the process of resuscitation
has gained wide success, steadily evolving and allowing family presence (FP) as it is widely
known, a social right.
Family presence (FP) is simply defined as the inclusion of family members, especially
the adults in the patient care area during the process of resuscitation, in a posture that allows for
physical or visual contact (Doolin, Quinn, Bryant, Lyons & Kleinpell, 2011). Dating back to
1982, family presence during resuscitation can be traced back to Foote Hospital in Jackson,

where two distinct family members had demanded to be included in the resuscitation room with
their loved ones. In one case, a family member, after an emotional ride with her loved one in an
ambulance, refused to leave his side, even during the critical moment of administering treatment
(Mahabir & Sammy, 2012). On yet another occasion, a woman whose husband had been shot in
the line of duty, begged to stay by his side during the whole procedure. In both cases, a chaplain
was assigned to stay with them, and later an evaluation was done, which revealed positive results
from the families and the staff members as well (Mahabir & Sammy, 2012). In the same hospital,
a need to conduct a survey on those whose patients had died arose, and out of the 18 participants
involved, 13 of them responded in the affirmative, translating to 72% of the total number (Hung
& Pang, 2011). From this evidence, it was concluded that family presence during resuscitation is
an important aspect of health care, and should be embraced under controlled conditions.
Over the years, research has widely been done on the psychological impact of family
presence during resuscitation. In 1994, the Emergency Nurses Association took a bold move to
adopt a resolution that supported FPDR (family presence during resuscitation), and this has been
in place for as long as could be possible (Doolin, Quinn, Bryant, Lyons & Kleinpell, 2011).
Public opinion polls conducted also indicate similar results: massive support for family presence.
NBC conducted a public survey in 1999 and 2000, and a massive majority of 70% of the
respondents would rather go for family presence, than exclusion. Other researches targeting
families, for instance, Meyers survey of 1998 at the Parkland Hospital situated in Dallas,
bolstered this move by revealing a massive support of 80% family members opting for FPDR
One would want to ask the perceived benefits of the presence of family during the
process of resuscitation. Well, experts as well as family members themselves have cited various

reasons. For instance, this arrangement helps the family to realize how serious the condition of
their patient is. This prepares them psychologically for any unspoken outcome, and helps them
be in spiritual assistance to the patient (Leung & Chow, 2012). Moreover, it fosters the
appreciation for tireless efforts of the medical team, and convinces the family members that even
if the resuscitation process did not turn out well, every possible option was exploited (Porter,
Cooper & Sellick, 2013). This is important in bringing peace and satisfaction as well as
acceptance of fate by the family members. In addition, it also dispels the dread and wonders of
the unknown, especially if the no family member were not around to witness the foregoing. In
FPDR, the value and importance of the patient to the family is also stressed to the medical staff,
so that maximum attention is given to the patient (Walker, 2008). It provides comfort to the
patient, knowing that the family members are close by, gives one the strength and motivation to
fight the disease (Itzhaki, Bar-Tal & Barnoy, 2012). After all, even the medical practitioners
point out that healing occurs by faith. In addition, full information about a patient’s history of
illness and other pertinent details are provided to the medical team to ensure an effective and
overarching process implementation (Hauda, 2011).
Health care providers agree with the FPDR program, though this varies from one
profession to another, and according to the level of experience and specialty. In numerous
surveys conducted regarding this matter, about 86% to 96% of the total number of nurses
surveyed endorsed this initiative, though physicians have been portrayed to exhibit less
enthusiasm on this matter (Doolin, Quinn, Bryant, Lyons & Kleinpell, 2011). Physicians
generally do not support the constant interruptions and hysteresis from family members, though
Meyers points out that the response of medical practitioners is likely to improve with time as
they witness more of this process. Though some health care providers have fears ranging from

distractions to service provision, emotional outbursts, stubbornness of distraught family
members, anxiety, lack of space, fear for lack of confidentiality, to the concern that errors can be
witnessed by family members; most of them are still in support of the idea of FPDR (Leske,
McAndrew, Evans, Garcia & Brasel, 2012).
From the perspective of health care providers, FPDR serves to remind all the staff
members that the patient is a family man/woman, and needs to be given equal care as any other
patient (Al-Mutair, Plummer & Copnell, 2012). Additionally, the arrangement provides the
medical staff with more holistic care during the critical moment of resuscitation to the patient,
and encourages more cordial and professional conduct of the staff. It also reaffirms and reminds
the health care provider of his position as an advocate for the resuscitating patient; and makes
him shift more focus to the dignity and privacy of the patient (Itzhaki, Bar-Tal & Barnoy, 2012).
Moreover, this arrangement offers the all-important opportunity for the medical staff to furnish
the family members with technical information on the status of the patient, which is crucial for
easing anxiety that most certainly builds up within them (Leske, McAndrew, Evans, Garcia &
Brasel, 2012).
Researches that focus on the perspective of the patient regarding family presence during
resuscitation have not been adequately conducted, but dismal data available shows that about
72% of the patients would want their family members’ presence (Hapman, Watkins, Bushby &
Combs, 2013). In a study carried at Parkland Hospital, it emerged that most patients feel
comforted, supported and loved by this arrangement; they feel that they have the family
members, besides the medical staff, as their advocates, and that the caregivers are reminded of
their personhood by their family members’ presence; and that it enhanced the bond between the
patient and family and alters the health care environment (Itzhaki, Bar-Tal & Barnoy, 2012). In

one large study conducted by Benjamin where about 200 patients were interviewed, over 73% of
them wanted their families to be present, citing that they did not consider this as a breach into
their privacy and confidentiality (Al-Mutair, Plummer & Copnell, 2012). Most people lodge this
argument that why should a person be excluded from another at the end of life, while they have
spent time together throughout their life?
Several other researches have been conducted to determine whether there is support for
FPDR. Barrrat and Willis conducted a survey on bereaved relatives, seeking their opinions
concerning the need to be present during resuscitation. Phone interview was used in this
research, after they had visited the emergency department at their respective hospitals, and a
higher percentage confirmed that they would like the opportunity to be present beside their loved
ones in the resuscitation rooms (Fell, 2009). Robinson et al also used a randomized, regulated
method of trial to carry out an evaluation on whether relatives would prefer FPDR, and whether
witnessing the resuscitation process had any psychological impact on them and their patients.
Low levels of disparities from existing literature were found (Ganz & Yoffe, 2012). Moreover,
Weslein carried out a semi-structured interview involving 17 participants, which was aimed at
exploring varied experiences of family members during resuscitation process. Though the sample
size was small, this study provides insight into the issue, as 12 participants expressed positivity
in their desire to be present (Hapman, Watkins, Bushby & Combs, 2013). In another study
carried out in France involving a fairly large sample size of 57o participants (relatives of patients
experience problem of cardiac arrest), 79% of the total number opted to stay and with their
patients. This study focused on another different but important aspect: post-traumatic stress
disorder (PTSD). A control group which was not exposed to the resuscitation process was used
and comparative data filed about the two groups. It was found PTSD was higher in the control

group than among the relatives who had witnessed the process of resuscitation. These were due
to high levels of depression and anxiety reported among those who did not witness the process,
because of fear of unknown.
Out of all the systematic reviews presented in this paper, it suffices to conclude that
members of a family should be allowed to witness the resuscitation efforts of the patients. Since
more benefits are set to be gained than damages caused, there has been much lobby for this
initiative by both medical and human rights organizations. It is a time to bury the old style and
embrace new developments, as people become more enlightened on their unspoken rights as
human beings.



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