Introduction Family presence at the bedside during invasive procedures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a controversial subject.1,2–3 Today no data are as yet available on these issues in Italy’s pediatric ICUs (PICUs). We investigated them in the course of a national survey on visiting policies in Italian PICUs.
Methods An email questionnaire on visiting policies was sent to the heads of all 34 Italian PICUs, including questions about their policy on parental presence during invasive procedures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Results The response rate was 100%. Median daily visiting time was 300 minutes. Only 12% of PICUs had an unrestricted visiting policy; 59% did not allow the constant presence of a parent even during the day. In 38% of PICUs parents are not normally allowed to be present at the bedside during ordinary nursing procedures such as endotracheal suctioning. In the case of invasive procedures such as inserting a central venous catheter and in the case of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the presence of parents is permitted only in 3% and 9% of units respectively.
Conclusion Our findings show a clear tendency in Italian PICUs to apply restrictive visiting policies and to limit drastically the presence of parents during invasive procedures and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Our survey could contribute towards promoting more attentive care for the patient and his/her family.
The study was supported by Associazione per il Bambino Nefropatico (Milan, Italy).