The article states "Family members who did not witness CPR were 60 percent more likely to have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder later. They also had more anxiety and depression."
I had a woman in her 90's once who was perfectly stable and her sister was telling me she didn't want to go home. My pt was just in for wound debridement and there was really no reason for her to be on PCU... I told her all her VS were stable and she was welcome to stay but she needed rest.
My pt coded around 4:00 a.m., after a bath, go figure. 15 minutes after cleaning her and repositioning. It happened so fast, her heart rate went to 20 and then just stopped. Working on that poor, tiny woman was horrible and I cannot imagine her sister being there. I do wonder about it sometimes, though, as she knew it was going to happen that night, how it would have changed her response.
I cannot imagine the difference in peds! I did one pedi code at the end of nursing school and it was over an hour long. It still stays with me. I can't imagine my child in a code, but God forbid it happened I would want to be there. Staying outside would drive me crazy.
A qualified staff member should ask the family members(s) if any/some of them want to observe the "code". Some may want to observe while others may not; it depends entirely on the individuals. If they choose to watch, they need to be out of the way, with chairs available, and a staff member available to provide explanation of the process.