Thursday, January 20

How Many Lives CPR Really Saves & Why It Is Nothing Like What The Movies Show


  • Laura Plitt
  • BBC World News

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

If you are a fan of medical TV series, the scene will be very familiar: a high-pitched sound coming from the hospital ward alerts the doctors on duty that the life of one of their patients is hanging by a thread.

Doctors and nurses rush to assist the patient who has suffered a sudden cardiorespiratory arrest and, after initiating the usual cardiopulmonary resuscitation maneuvers, the patient’s heart beats normally again and his life is happily out of danger.

However, these chest compressions accompanied by shocks electrical devices in the chest and followed by subsequent intubation, aimed at restoring oxygen flow to the lungs, thus preventing damage to the brain and other organs, do not usually generate the promising results that we see in fiction.

“The success of the results show that only between the 20% and 24% those who undergo CPR inside the hospital come out alive, and of those patients only one or two come out without serious neurological injuries “, explains to BBC Mundo Fritz Eduardo Gempeler Rueda, anesthesiologist and coordinator of the Clinical Ethics Service of the University Hospital of San Ignacio, in Bogotá, Colombia.


www.bbc.com

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