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  1. R Mark Beattie, Editor in Chief

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Parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation

There is an international recommendation for parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation although this is not universal. Tripon and colleagues explore the experience, opinions and moral positions of French emergency physicians (n=550) who had taken a course on parental presence during CPR and compared it with the responses of nurses on their team by questionnaire. The response rate was 29% for physicians, 53% from nurses. 52% had experienced parental presence during resuscitation, at the physicians wish in only 6% of cases. Of note only 17% of respondents favoured parental presence (27% of physicians, 12% of nurses). The reasons against parental presence were psychological trauma for the parents, risk of interference with medical care and care team stress. The authors conclude this reflects medical paternalism. It is an interesting paper to read and reflect on. In the USA and UK medical professionals are reported to be more accepting of parental presence. In an accompanying editorial Howard Bauchner argues that this should be the case – parental presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation – uncommon, but yet necessary. See pages 310 and 305.

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