Acceptance of family member presence during pediatric resuscitations in the emergency department: effects of personal experience

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2000 Apr;16(2):85-7. doi: 10.1097/00006565-200004000-00004.


Objective: Opinions remain polarized on allowing family member presence during pediatric resuscitations (FMP). Reluctance to adopt FMP may stem from preconceived notions on this practice. This study evaluates the effect of prior experience with FMP and on its acceptance by emergency department personnel (EDP).

Methods: EDP from three different EDs were surveyed concerning FMP. Study facilities included an urban teaching community ED with routine FMP (R-ED), a suburban community ED with occasional FMP (O-ED) and an urban university pediatric ED with virtually no FMP (N-ED) during pediatric resuscitations. Survey information included hospital of practice, position in ED, years in practice, opinions on FMP and personal experience with FMP for five clinical scenarios: laceration repair (LAC), intravenous access (IV), lumbar puncture (LP), endotracheal intubation (ETI), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and critical resuscitation (CR). Statistical analysis was through chi square and regression analysis.

Results: Eighty-five emergency department personnel participated in the survey, 57 (67%) nurses, 22 (25%) physicians, 4 technicians (5%), and 2 nurses aids (2%). There was a significant correlation between a favorable opinion concerning family member presence during LP, ETI, CPR and CR and the type of Emergency Department in which the individual practiced (P<0.002). Regression analysis demonstrated a similar relation between personal experience with LAC, IV, ETI, CR, and CPR and a favorable opinion on FMP during that activity (P<0.03).

Conclusion: Opinions on FMP are strongly influenced by experience with this practice. Emergency department personnel with prior exposure to family member presence during resuscitations favor this activity. Biases by EDP lacking experience with FMP may limit its introduction into unfamiliar institutions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / psychology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Family*
  • Hospitals, Community
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Regression Analysis
  • Resuscitation*