When CPR Is Performed, It's Better to Have the Family Around

Family Presence During CPR Has Positive Effect for Family
Family Presence During CPR Has Positive Effect for Family

(HealthDay News) – Family presence during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at home correlates with positive psychological variables for the family; and survival and readmission among older patients who survive an in-hospital cardiac arrest is related to demographic variables and neurologic status at discharge, according to two studies published in the March 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Patricia Jabre, MD, PhD, from the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, and colleagues examined the effect of family presence during CPR by prehospital emergency services among 570 relatives of patients who were in cardiac arrest. The researchers found that posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms were significantly higher in the control group and among family members who did not witness CPR than among those who were systematically offered the opportunity to observe CPR. Family-witnessed CPR did not affect resuscitation characteristics, patient survival, or emotional stress in the medical team.

Paul S. Chan, MD, from Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO, and colleagues examined long-term survival among 6,972 older adults (aged ≥65 years) who were discharged following in-hospital cardiac arrest. The researchers found that 58.5% of patients were alive at one year; the risk-adjusted rate of one-year survival was significantly lower among older patients, among men vs. women, and among black vs. white patients. One-year survival also correlated with neurologic disability at discharge. One-year readmission rates were higher for black patients, women, and those with considerable neurologic disability.

"Survival and readmission rates differed according to the demographic characteristics of the patients and neurologic status at discharge," Chan and colleagues write.

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