Family presence during emergency care is endorsed by numerous nursing and medical organizations, including the American College of Critical Care Medicine. Yet concerns are still expressed by health care providers, and the practice of family presence continues to vary across the United States.

O’Connell and colleagues interviewed family members of children who had met trauma team activation criteria and compared those who were present during the trauma evaluation with families who were not. They found the following:

  • Parents who were present reported positive interaction behaviors such as being in close proximity, talking, touching, and providing emotional support to their child. Most recalled providing the health care team with important information about their child and thought that their presence decreased their child’s anxiety.

  • Most parents who were not present had wanted to be there and thought that being there would have helped them better...

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