Policy: Presence of parents during resuscitative
procedures in the ER
Question: I was wondering if Children's Hospital Boston has a policy on the presence of parents during resuscitative procedures in the emergency room. My hospital is looking at expanding
parental participation by allowing parents to stay in the corner of the room, with a nurse and a chaplain at their side, during
procedures, codes etc. Is this a trend we should follow?
—Al Tagliavia, MD
Code Committee, Greenwich Hospital
Answer: Our Emergency Department has spent a great deal of time discussing perspectives and approaches to parental presence during resuscitative procedures. We have had forums for clinicians, met with the social workers and have reviewed the evolving
medical literature. Our policy is that each critical case is
considered separately, with the goal of involving the parents as much as possible, being considerate of both the patient's and the parent's needs. If the parent expresses interest, we utilize all appropriate resources (social workers, nurses and physicians) to explain to the family what is happening during the resuscitation. If the described resources are available, we will facilitate the parent's ability to stay in the room during the resuscitation.
—Anne Stack, MD, director of clinical operations in Emergency Medicine,
Fran Damian, MS, RN, director of Nursing/Patient Services in Emergency Medicine, and
Eric Fleegler, MD,
attending in Emergency Medicine.