Family presence during resuscitation (FPDR): Development of an education training package

Dr Joanne Porter1, Nareeda Miller2, Anita Giannis3 and Nicole Coombs4

1 Federation University Australia, Gippsland Campus, Northways Rd, Churchill, Vicotria 3842,
2 Federation University Australia, Gippsland Campus, Northways Rd, Churchill, Vicotria 3842,
3 Federation University Australia, Gippsland Campus, Northways Rd, Churchill, Vicotria 3842,
4 Federation University Australia, Gippsland Campus, Northways Rd, Churchill, Vicotria 3842,

Aim: The aim of this paper is to report and showcase the development of an education training package using video scenarios utilising the acronym ER-DRIP to teach clinicians on how to implement FPDR.

Background: The practice of allowing family to be present during resuscitation has been debated in emergency departments since the early 1980’s, with evidence that the practice and implementation of FPDR is inconsistent despite formal endorsement of adult and paediatric FPDR in the year 2000 by leading Emergency Associations and Resuscitation Councils1. This study aimed to develop an education package for emergency nurses, paramedics and medical personnel in order to develop competence in the implementation of FPDR.

Method: The acronym ER-DRIP2 (emergency personnel, reassurance, diagnosis, regular up-dates, interventions and prognosis) was developed following a state wide survey3, a period of resuscitation observation and interviews with emergency personnel in Victoria, Australia as part of a PhD study. An education training package was developed, which provides students with a series of videos together with discussion notes which aims to develop the skills necessary to successfully implement FPDR for both paediatric and adult patients. A team of experienced academics, emergency clinicians together with trained actors and emergency personnel developed three clinical scenarios which represent common presenting conditions while demonstrating practically how to engage with family during resuscitation events. The three scenarios include a paediatric respiratory arrest, a myocardial infarction and a stroke victim.

Results: A total of three scenarios were written and filmed with the use of simulation trained live actors, emergency personnel and paramedics aiming to mimic resuscitation events. The paediatric respiratory arrest depicts a child’s interaction with staff and his mother, while the myocardial infarction scenario occurs in a backyard and is attended by a team of paramedics. The third scenario depicts an elderly stroke patient, demonstrating the implementation of FDPR in the emergency department. The FPDR education training package was developed for introduction into an undergraduate bachelor of nursing degree program and a postgraduate paramedic program.

Conclusion: FPDR, although widely endorsed is practiced inconsistently in the emergency department clinical setting, in particular with adult presentations.  Additional training and education around the implementation and practice of FPDR was identified as essential, further research is required to investigate the impact of the FPDR education training package on emergency personnel confidence and competence.


  1. American Heart Association. (2000). Guidelines 2000 for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiopulmonary care. Circulation, 102(8 supp.), 1-374.
  2. Porter, J. Cooper, S. & Taylor, B. (2014). Emergency Resuscitation team roles: What constitutes a team and who’s looking after the family? Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. (In Press)
  3. Porter, J. Cooper, S. & Taylor, B. (2013). Family presence during resuscitation (FPDR): A survey of emergency personnel in Victoria, Australia. Australasian Emergency Nursing Journal – AENJ (Under review)

Funding / Acknowledgments

No funding was associated with this study.

Key Words

Family presence, Resuscitation, Emergency, Education


Dr Joanne Porter and Mrs Nicole Coombs currently work at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare at Federation University Australia, Gippsland Campus. Joannes research interests include; deteriorating patients, simulation, and emergency care research, with her PhD investigating the affect family presence during resuscitation (FPDR) had on personnel in the emergency department. Nicole Coombs is a new and emerging nursing researcher and academic, in her Masters by research, she developed a post emergency admission education package called ED-HOME. Nicole made a significant contribution to the FPDR project and has a promising career in academia and nursing research in the future.