Pre-hospital resuscitation: what shall we tell the family?

Cardiac arrest is a rarely attended event as a proportion of overall paramedic workload. When paramedics do attend such an event the management focus is largely concerned with clinical intervention and there may not be the capacity or appreciation for offering ongoing support to family members present. Indeed, even training may not have covered this element of care. Regardless of the prognosis for the patient, evidence suggests that there is benefit in directly involving relatives during the resuscitation. Engaging them with carefully considered and informed dialogue certainly seems humane at least. In which case, a structured and holistic approach should be employed where clinical care and emotional support go hand in hand.

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