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Parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation: uncommon, but yet necessary
  1. Howard Bauchner
  1. Correspondence to Dr Howard Bauchner, Journal of the American Medical Association, 515 North State, Chicago, IL 60654, USA; howard.bauchner{at}

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Most healthcare systems now champion patient-centredness. Policies and decisions are now seen through the lens of patient preference rather than physician authority. It is difficult to imagine a time when parents could not visit their child in the hospital or were asked to leave the room when their child underwent common invasive procedures, such as venipuncture or lumbar puncture. But when I started my training in the late 1970s, visiting times for parents were restricted and parents were routinely asked to leave the room when their children underwent a procedure. And many physicians were not happy if parents insisted on staying. But the focus has shifted dramatically over the past few decades. Parents can routinely visit their child when they like, many room-in, and they often are present during common invasive procedures. Indeed in many hospitals parents are encouraged to help comfort their children during procedures. Most hospitals that care for children have embraced family-centredness.

Tripon et al1 extend the discussion, focusing on parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is not a new question. For the past two decades this issue has been explored, with many diverse opinions. These investigators surveyed 550 French emergency physicians from 95 emergency departments. During the previous 6 years all of the physicians had attended a simulation-based course on CPR in which parental presence during …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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