Parental Presence on Emergence: Effect on Postanesthesia Agitation and Parent Satisfaction

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This prospective, randomized study compared the incidence and duration of postanesthetic agitation in children whose parents were present or absent during emergence from anesthesia. Findings demonstrated that there was no difference in agitation between groups; however, more parents who were present believed they were present at “the right time,” in contrast to those reunited later, who more often said they arrived “too late.” Furthermore, these parents were comfortable in the setting and reported a high degree of helpfulness in comforting their child. Findings from this study suggest that although parental presence at emergence did not decrease agitation in young children, there was significant psychosocial benefit to the parents. Perioperative and perianesthesia nurses should consider these potential benefits when planning reunion of parents with their children after surgery.

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