Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: The Commentary by Dr Berwick
and Ms Kotagal1 suggests that (presumably adult)
intensive care units (ICUs) should allow unrestricted visiting hours for families
despite perceived barriers to such change, including exacerbation of physiologic
stress to the patient, interference with provision of care, and family exhaustion.
The pediatric ICU (PICU) at my institution has allowed unlimited visiting
hours for parents and family members for more than a decade. Parents are allowed
to sleep in their child’s room on fold-out comforters. We limit the
number of visitors to 2 persons at a time primarily because of room size constraints.
I believe that the concerns used to support visiting hour restrictions are
completely mitigated when unlimited visitation is permitted.
Brilli RJ. Restrictions on Family Presence in the ICU. JAMA. 2004;292(22):2721-2722. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2721-a