Thursday, June 28, 2012

To cpr or not to cpr...that is the question

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in reality, is not at all what is portrayed on television. A study done in 1996 on 96 episodes of “ER,” “Chicago Hope,” and “Rescue 911” in which CPR was depicted showed 75 percent surviving in the short term and 67 percent surviving in the long term.

According to most medical studies, the chance of surviving CPR, is at best, about 20 percent and this includes the most favorable group (witnessed in-hospital arrest). Chance of survival is less than 5% for Bystander CPR (CPR performed by someone). A higher percentage has a return of spontaneous circulation with CPR but survival to hospital discharge percentages remain very low. Of the 5% who survive, an even lower percentage are intact of mind and body.

The chance of survival if "shocked (defibrillated)" within 3-5 minutes is much better at 30% (that's why it's become so common to see defibrillators at stores, malls, and athletic events).

So here are a few things to think about:

“If you should die in spite of all medical efforts, do you want heroic measures attempted to bring you back?”

“How do you want things to be when you die?”

“In the event of your death, some patients would like heroic life sustaining treatments. Others do not want such measures. Where do you see yourself in this spectrum of choices?”

Here are my current thoughts: In the event of my death, and as long as I don't have a terminal and irreversible condition and death is not imminent:

Go ahead and try CPR if my death is witnessed while in a hospital.

Go ahead and try CPR if I drop dead out in public and if a defibrillator can be located and used within 3-5 minutes.

Otherwise...I've had a great life and it's been great knowing you!

Now that wasn't so hard after all!

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