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Letters to the Editor

A wrenching decision

As a nursing student, I’ve been present on several occasions when a patient has coded. So your article “Family presence during resuscitation: Who decides?” (September/October 2009) really reverberated with me. On those occasions, I saw firsthand the pros and cons of letting the family witness the resuscitation attempt: The room gets very crowded, and caregivers focus on saving the patient’s life. The family wants to be there to make sure their loved one survives, but sometimes they get hysterical or even interfere with life-saving interventions. The article accurately represented the dilemma of whether to let the family stay. Thank you for presenting both sides of the story and suggesting ways to resolve the problem.

Stephanie Wurtzler

Student Nurse

St. Anthony College of Nursing

Rockford, IL

A fitting tribute to a great nurse leader

I enjoyed Pam Cipriano’s editorial on the Gretta Foundation (“Imagine a world without nurses,” November/December 2009). I’m so impressed with the work Meg Styles (creator of the Gretta Foundation) is doing to strengthen nursing in Africa, which bears so much of the world’s healthcare burden but has so few resources. Meg’s work in the memory of her mother, Gretta Styles, is a most fitting tribute to the passion, dedication, and commitment Gretta brought to everything she touched. The work is indeed worthy of Gretta’s life and represents a living and vibrant legacy to a wonderful person, a strong nurse, and a transformational leader. Thank you for highlighting Meg’s work.

Barbara A. Blakeney, MS, RN

Innovation Specialist, Center for Innovations in Care Delivery

Institute for Patient Care

Massachusetts General Hospital


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