Readers panel: Should families be encouraged to witness resuscitation attempts on their loved ones?
Cardiac arrest is a traumatic event for patients and their families. As an Evidence and Practice article explores the benefits and drawbacks of family-witnessed resuscitation, Nursing Standard readers have their say
Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham @lizcharalambou
Giving families the choice to witness resuscitation attempts is in the spirit of openness and family-centred philosophy. But it is not for everyone and the team culture could influence the success or failure of such an initiative. Teams should have nationally and locally agreed protocols in place in the event of an arrest, and each situation should be carefully assessed. This should be about choice rather than encouragement because witnessing an arrest could do more harm than good for some families.
Daniel Athey is a charge nurse on an acute...