Source: The Mercury, 27 June, 1996, p.20
UNREALISTIC recoveries regularly portrayed in widely- viewed television shows such as ER, Rescue 911 and Chicago Hope may be a cata- lyst for pressure on real-life doctors to perform resusci- tations doomed to failure, re- searchers say. Cardiopulmonary resusci- tation (CPR) saves no more than 30% of cases outside hospitals and just 15% of patients inside hospitals, this week's New Scientist maga- zine said. But in 97 episodes of the three shows watched by re- searchers at a North Carolina medical centre, 77% of pat- ients given CPR were revived. CPR is most frequently per- formed on older patients already in hospital. But in the more colourful televised versions, subjects were usually strapping young male and female victims of car crashes or shootings. Research group team leader Susan Diem has called on television producers to inject more realism into their CP dramas. But she acknowledges it's unlikely about three quarters of television doctors' patients are likely to be sacrificed to realism. "It would be kind of a downer and we understand that," she said. AAP
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