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In a recent article, you asked, "Should Families Be Present during Resuscitation?" (Issues in Nursing, May 2007).* I have some strong feelings on the issue based on a personal experience.
My husband, John, who had diabetes and end-stage renal disease, received a kidney transplant after years of dialysis. One day 2 years after the transplant, I found him unresponsive, without respirations or pulse. I called 911 and then administered CPR until the EMTs took over.
During their attempts at resuscitation, I stayed very close but out of the way. I felt strongly that I needed to tell John that I was with him, that I loved him, and that he wasn't alone. I told him this over and over, until resuscitation efforts ceased.
If anyone had asked me to leave John's side, I would have defied that person. By being there, I could see that my husband wasn't suffering, that the EMTs were doing all that they could, and that they treated him gently and respectfully. I have a feeling of peace when I think of his last moments because he knew that I was there.
MARGARET BACCUS BASHAM, RN
Lake Linden, Mich.
*Individual subscribers can access this article free online at http://www.nursing2007.com. [Context Link]
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