Have you ever done CPR? I have, more times than I can remember. All times but one have been in an hospital or long-term care facility, but once was on the street - on Halloween 26 years ago.
It may seem like a cold decision to make. It's not. It's not an easy decision in most cases. Doing CPR is hard work - physically and emotionally. Trying to save someone's life and not succeeding take a toll on you. It's not what is supposed to happen when you go into a profession that is supposed to save lives.
A study was published in Lancet earlier this month that looked at how long CPR was performed in various hospitals across the United States. According to a press release issued by the University of Michigan Health System,
"After examining national data for more than 64,000 cardiac arrest patients between 2000 and 2008, the researchers found that while most patients were successfully resuscitated after a short period of time, about 15 percent of patients who survived needed at least 30 minutes to achieve a pulse."
This is an important finding because the average time staff perform CPR can range from a short median time of 16 minutes to a longer median time of 25 minutes. Many doctors don't like to do CPR for what they consider too long because they are afraid of brain damage occurring if the patient does recover.
According to the study findings, those patients who survived in hospitals that tended to have longer CPR effort times were 12% more likely than those patients in hospitals with shorter times to recover and go home.
Steven L. Kronick, M.D., M.S., one of the paper's authors, U-M emergency department physician head of the U-M's CPR committee, agrees and says the research should be a part of ongoing efforts directed toward improving care for cardiac arrest patients.
"The optimal resuscitation duration for any individual patient will continue to remain a bedside decision that relies on careful clinical judgment," he says. "Overall, we believe these findings present an opportunity to improve resuscitation care, especially at a systems-level."
Longer CPR Benefits - CBC.ca