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Is the ER Relatively Safe?

Family members should be allowed in, says study

How many times have you seen a TV doctor drama like ER where a family member is barred from the emergency room while the medical staff frantically tries to save the patient's life?

Well, that might be the wrong move. A study in the American Journal of Nursing says the presence of family members during a medical crisis can help both the patient and his or her family.

According to an article from CNN, some hospitals allow family members to stay during resuscitation attempts and complicated procedures such as CPR and other such events.

But other health experts disagree. Dr. Stephen Epstein of the American College of Emergency Physicians says it is important to communicate with families, but that he doesn't always advocate having them in the same room. "I think that during resuscitation in particular, we need to be careful to allow the team to take care of the patient," he says in the article. "It might be a distraction. You might wind up with a family member who thinks they are going to be OK and winds up passing out."

There's no doubt that support from an infrastructure of family and friends is important. Dr. David Posen, in CHealth says this kind of encouragement and emotional backstopping can help you succeed in life and stay healthy.

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