Date of Publication

9-14-2020

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Lowey, PhD, RN, CHPN, Associate Professor, Department of Nursing

Abstract

Cardiac arrest occurs, “when a person’s heart stops beating,” stopping the heart from perfusing blood, oxygen, and other nutrients throughout the body (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). In 2017, the American Heart Association reported that 350,000 people in the United States experience cardiac arrest (American Heart Association, 2017). In recent years, that number has risen to almost 475,000 (American Heart Association, 2020). On a global scale, over 17.5 million people die from cardiac arrest (Automatic External Defibrillator, 2018). Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency lifesaving procedure that can reverse cardiac arrest (AHA, 2020). Family presence during CPR is a controversial topic that has been the focus of much debate within the medical community. This thesis will focus on examining the body of literature on both sides of this debate in order to clearly identify and describe best practices associated with successful implementation within the United States healthcare system.

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