Relatives cope well if they witness the CPR eventMembers of a family are more likely to mentally accept lose of their loved ones if they were present when the CPR procedure was being administered. According to a study, such family members are less likely to undergo anxiety, depression or PSTD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The study which was done in France also indicated that the victim’s emotional stress or survival rates weren’t affected by the presence of the family members viewing the procedure. It also didn’t affect medical team’s performance.

Dr. Stephen Borron, based at Texas Tech Universities Health Science Center in El Paso as their director the medical toxicological fellowship program, stated that the study looked at a controversial topic. He said that a lot of physicians would claim to be under more pressure if the family members were present during the procedure. This was according to him was in huge contrast to what the study indicated.

Analyzing the statistics behind this controversial topic

A considerable 80% of deaths occur outside the hospitals. The full details of the research can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine which was published on the 14th of March. The study further indicates that around 60% of elderly people who are admitted to hospitals often survive for another year.

570 family members of patients receiving CPR were analyzed by Dr. Stephen Borron and his colleagues. The relatives were either offered with the opportunity to stay or leave. Eight out of every 10 often opted to stay. Family members who hadn’t witnessed the event were 60% more likely to undergo PSTD, anxiety or depression three months after the event. The team noticed that relatives who were present developed a sense of satisfaction in that everything that could have possibly been done to save the life was attempted.

Difference between hospital settings and what you see on TV

Dr Downar James, a palliative care and critical care doctor based at Toronto general Hospital, adds that witnessing the CPR procedure gives family members the chance to say goodbye. It also allows them to grasp the concept of death.

He says that the hospital experience is very much different to that seen on TV in that everything is fast. The scene might not be as bearable as many would think considering that they’ll have to watch a tube being put into the patient’s throat through their mouth. The reality is that the situation can appear bloody, cruel, shocking, disfiguring and in some instances violent. Downar is one of the people who authored a book that was against family members being present during the procedure. This is because he believed that the hospital setting was more hectic and traumatic which according to him would increase the family’s shock. According to him, the data from the study is very far from conclusive. He called for further studies and research on the same subject matter saying that a clear line should be drawn between victims at home and in hospital settings. He added that there was need for experts to be cautious when reviewing studies from different countries considering that their medal system was completely different.