98% will die, but only 90% of everything is….


See him? He looks healthy enough doesn’t he? Young, broad grin, full of life, he’s eating vegetables too! Food insurance, that’s what that is.

But he’s more likely than ANYBODY to suffer a cardiac arrest (where your heart stops pumping) and need CPR!

Never mind though, he’ll pull through and leave hospital with no after effects.

But only if he was in one of these hospitals.

You know, pretend hospitals.

A study of cardiac arrests depicted in these TV programmes that resulted in CPR being performed showed that they mainly happened to fit, healthy children and young adults and were caused by trauma, not illness.
75% of patients were resuscitated and 67% left hospital with out any brain damage.

This is not what happens.

Only 1-2% of people survive who suffer a heart attack requiring CPR, and are not “lucky” enough to be in a hospital when it happens.

  • CPR is most likely to be performed on old men, in their 60s and upwards.
  • The cardiac arrest is most likely to have been caused by coronary heart disease, not by being involved in a police shoot-out.
  • Instead of young people recovering nicely, old men die messily or if not, they survive with significant neurological damage.

Everything you have seen on the telly about this….

“He’s flat-lining!”, “CRASH TEAM!”, “Stand back!”, “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZTT!”, “Again!”, “ZZZZZZZZTTT!”, “Don’t you dare give up on me”, “look Doctor, his eyes are moving!”, “he’ll pull through…”

…….is wrong.

This is one tiny thing, but examples often are. I’m not surprised if what me or people around me think is right, is actually wrong. There’s more wrong ways to do something than right ways, so most things are wrong.

There is even a maxim, Sturgeons Law, that says that 90% of everything is crap. This is why I think it is important to question everything. If you don’t, 90% of the things you think are right, good or useful, are in fact…crap.


Links used in this post:

The myth of CPR
Wikipedia entry on CPR
CPR: is it cruel or kind?

Despite the above I would heartily recommend first aid training, it was the best training I’ve ever had through work and I have had to use it three times, not CPR though. The best thing I got from it was confidence to know what to do, and what to do is always simple, never complex. Also, the official training is to do CPR, and that’s given by people that know what they’re talking about, not some anonymous keyboard rattler like me. Listen to them, or have a look here at least.

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