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VOLUME 25 , ISSUE 9 ( September, 2021 ) > List of Articles

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“Compassion Cannot Choose:” A Call for Family-centered Critical Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Midhun Mohan, Lloyd F Joy, Arun Sivasankar, Shoukath Ali, Biju Vareed Meckattuparamban

Keywords : Compassion, COVID-19, Family presence, Family-centered critical care, Intensive care unit

Citation Information : Mohan M, Joy LF, Sivasankar A, Ali S, Meckattuparamban BV. “Compassion Cannot Choose:” A Call for Family-centered Critical Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021; 25 (9):1049-1050.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23957

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 08-09-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2021; The Author(s).


Compassion has been one of the greatest virtues of healthcare professionals. In the early phase of the pandemic, a lot of caution was essential, and restrictions were imposed on the hospital visitation of the COVID-19 patients by their family members. The healthcare system was overburdened, and the healthcare workers were apprehensive about the new virus and the rising mortality. Compassion and family-centered care took a step back as survival of the pandemic became the ultimate goal of mankind. “COVID-19 patients admitted to the critical care units, their loved ones and the healthcare professionals caring for these patients took the brunt of the emotional and psychological impacts of the pandemic.” However, as we have moved more than a year into the pandemic, knowledge and resources we gained may be leveraged to provide family-centered critical care for COVID-19 patients. Family presence in intensive care units (ICUs) has been associated with higher satisfaction with care, collaboration with the medical team, shared decision-making, reduced delirium, and optimized end-of-life care of COVID-19 patients. The policymakers should review the restrictions, consider a holistic approach, and take appropriate actions to provide safe family-centered critical care for COVID-19 patients.

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