To the Editors:

I was very enthused to read the article by Wagner titled “Lived Experience of Critically Ill Patients’ Family Members During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation” (September 2004:416–420). As a critical care nurse of 12 years, I have been involved in many resuscitative events and have seen many family members escorted out of the room when cardiopulmonary resuscitation was begun.

During resuscitation, the healthcare team is focused on the patient, often neglecting the fact that family members are also in crisis. Reasons commonly cited for excluding family members are largely attributable to the opinions and attitudes of the health-care team. In reality, there is no evidence supporting the traditional practice of barring the presence of family members. The recent awareness of family members’ needs is not just a matter of nurses questioning why family members must leave the room: Research...

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