I'm responding to "Should Families Be Present during Resuscitation?" (May 2007).* I have strong feelings on the issue based on personal experience. Two years ago, my 17-year-old son was badly hurt in a high-speed motor vehicle crash. He was intubated at the scene and flown to the nearest trauma center. I was not only denied access to my son for over 2 hours, but I was also denied information on the extent of his injuries. Instead, I was ushered into the "family room" and left alone. Even though I explained that I was a nurse and wouldn't get in the way, I didn't see my son until he was stabilized and ready to be transferred to the PICU.
My son survived. But if he hadn't, I would have been left without that final good-bye and the comfort of knowing that everything had been done to save him.
Having completed my master's thesis on the presence of family members in critical care units, I was appalled at the policies of the trauma center. I have and will continue to campaign for change. Thank you for recognizing the need as well.
DOTTIE MATHERS, RN, MSN
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