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1Jun

An enquiry into patient outcome and death has reviewed the care given to 585 acutely ill patients who ended up having a cardiac arrest.

They found that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) had become the default action.  It is believed that a third of cardiac arrests could have been prevented.  The report claims that staff are not properly assessing the condition of the patient and failing to spot warning signs of an impending cardiac arrest.

Lack of communication and understanding are also being blamed.  Whether patients are being told about their rights adequately, for example their right to not be resuscitated, is an issue.  There is also the worry that speedy staff handovers and poor documentation are adding to the problem.

What do you think about this story? Do you think doctors are too quick to resuscitate?

Read more on this story here.

  

One Response to Doctors too quick to resuscitate

  1. A comment here is obviously too little space to adequately debate this important issue, but it’s a good start.

    Communication is always strained in a hospital setting. Patients may say they want resuscitation without fully understanding what this means, or what quality of life will remain, if resuscitation is successful.

    There is a further consideration, one of patient dignity. In your final moments, which would you prefer – a calm, dignified death or a frantic one, lead by doctors you may never have met before?

    When my mother was terminally ill, we consider ourselves fortunate to have had a family member who advised us to communicate Mom’s wishes to her medical team, and I have previously written about this.

    So, in my opinion, the resuscitation is not always the doctors’ choice. Many times they are acting on patients’ and their families pleas.

    Perhaps the doctor is not the best person to make sure the patient understands their rights – perhaps there should be a liaison person available to help?

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