Study supports allowing family members in ED during critical care

From EurekAlert (press release):

Contrary to what many trauma teams believe, the presence of family members does not impede the care of injured children in the emergency department, according to a study to be presented Saturday, April 28, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.

Professional medical societies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Emergency Physicians, support family presence during resuscitations and invasive procedures. The degree of family member involvement ranges from observation to participation, depending on the comfort level of families and health care providers.

“Despite the many documented family and patient benefits and previous studies that highlight the safe practice of family presence, trauma providers remain hesitant to adopt this practice,” said lead author Karen O’Connell, MD, FAAP, a pediatric emergency medicine attending physician at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “A common concern among medical providers is that this practice may hinder patient care, either because parents will actually interfere with treatment or their presence will increase staff stress and thus decrease procedure performance.”

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