Resuscitation: What’s the Point
Summary by: Peter Brindley
Resuscitation- what’s the point. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is unique as the only medical intervention performed on anyone without explicit contrary documentation. Therefore, CPR need to be understood in terms of societal expectations, legal mandates and professional duties. We also need to understand not just the the likelihood of survival, but also the likelihood of disability and the cost (both literally and figuratively) to patients, healthcare workers, and to an already stretched healthcare system. Even the term ‘resuscitation’ means different things to different people…and that’s before we even wade into such terms as ‘autonomy’, ‘paternalism’ and ‘patient-focused care’. In short, doctors, nurses patients and families can no longer shy away from discussing CPR: it’s time to talk. It can be a remarkable way to prevent premature death, it can also squander finite resources and be the beginning of a terrible ordeal for frail patients and frazzled families.