Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub,
MD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Every day in ICUs and emergency
departments a critically ill or injured patient is wheeled in one direction
while frightened family are shuffled away to await word of their loved one’s
fate. It is one of the unwritten rules of critical care and emergency medicine
that family members are not allowed in the patient’s room during emergency
procedures. Clinicians base this rule on traditional concerns that families
might lose emotional control or hinder patient care, or that the risk of litigation
will increase. Dr Berwick and Ms. Kotagal describe other concerns surrounding
restricted visiting in ICUs1 but do not address
prohibition of family presence during resuscitation as the ultimate visitation
Guzzetta CE, Clark AP. Restrictions on Family Presence in the ICU. JAMA. 2004;292(22):2721–2722. doi:10.1001/jama.292.22.2721-b
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