The act of medically resuscitating someone is not a pleasant process. CPR often cracks a patient’s ribs. tubes go down throats, and IVs into necks can be bloody. In short, it is never the few chest pumps and mouth-to-mouth breaths that it is on TV, which is why so many doctors and nurses prefer family members do not witness it. But a recent French study shows that when family members do witness resuscitation, and when the resuscitation is unsuccessful, there is considerable less mental strain when the patient dies. Typically, though, this is true of events happening in the patient’s home. Resuscitation in an ER is a more hectic and choreographed process that may not admit family members for a number of reasons.
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