They said debate still surrounded the advantages and disadvantages of a family being present in the ICU during paediatric resuscitation but few previous studies had looked at the experiences of parents themselves.
As a result, they interviewed 14 parents of children who had either survived or died following a resuscitation attempt.
‘Memories of the resuscitation were not long-lasting and distress was for the potential death of a child, rather than the resuscitation scene,’ the authors said. ‘Parents who did not witness their child’s resuscitation were more distressed than those who did.
‘The findings underpin the inherent need for parents to choose to be present during paediatric resuscitation to make sense of the situation,’ they add.
Journal of Clinical Nursing (2008) 23: 3168-3176