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Owner-witnessed cardiopulmonary resuscitation in small animal emergency veterinary medicine

Fejfar, Lindsey M., Rozanski, Elizabeth A., Mueller, Megan K.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2018 v.253 no.8 pp. 1032-1037
animal technicians, attitudes and opinions, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, cross-sectional studies, demographic statistics, health services, human health, humans, medicine, pet ownership, pets, professionals, surveys, veterinarians, veterinary medicine
OBJECTIVE To determine opinions of veterinary emergency health-care providers on the topic of owner-witnessed CPR in small animal emergency medicine and to identify reasons for opposition or support of owner-witnessed CPR. DESIGN Cross-sectional survey. SAMPLE 358 surveys completed by American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care diplomates and residents as well as other emergency-care veterinarians and veterinary technicians between August 14, 2016, and September 14, 2016. PROCEDURES An internet-based survey was used to collect data on respondent demographics, CPR experience, and opinions about owner-witnessed CPR. Responses were collected, and the Fisher exact test or χ2 test was used to compare distributions of various opinions toward owner-witnessed CPR among certain respondent groups. RESULTS Owner presence during CPR was opposed by 277 of 356 (77.8%) respondents, with no substantial differences among demographic groups. Respondents with ≤ 10 years of experience were less willing to allow owner presence during CPR, compared with respondents with > 10 years of experience. Respondents who worked at practices that allowed owner presence during CPR were more likely to report emotional benefit for owners. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Veterinary professionals surveyed had similar concerns about owner-witnessed CPR, as has been reported by human health-care providers about family-witnessed resuscitation. However, emotional benefits from family-witnessed resuscitation in human health care have been reported, and emotional impacts of owner-witnessed CPR could be an area of research in veterinary medicine. In addition, investigation is needed to obtain more information about pet owner wishes in regard to witnessing CPR performed on their pets.