Best Life: CPR - Does the risk outweigh the benefits in older patients?

Best Life: CPR - Does the risk outweigh the benefits in older patients?
CPR at Houston High School (Source: WMC)

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Push down hard and fast at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes per minute. Time the pushes to the beat of Stayin’ Alive and continue until medical personnel arrive. This is how you give hand to hand CPR, and though it has saved lives, should it be used in every scenario?

Cardiac arrest kills someone every two minutes.

“It accounts for about 390,000 deaths in the United States each year,” stated Robert J. Myerburg, MD, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

At least 70% of all cardiac arrests occur outside hospitals and seem to come out of nowhere.

“Fifty percent of sudden cardiac deaths are first cardiac events meaning the patient did not know they had heart disease,” said Dr. Myerburg.

But nearly 45% of all those who were saved out of the hospital, were saved by someone who immediately started CPR. According to Swedish researchers, the 30-day survival rate after a cardiac arrest is under seven percent for patients past their seventies.

There is also the risk of broken bones, a sore chest or lung collapse. A survey of 600 clinicians found that more than half said giving CPR even if only two percent survive is still appropriate. Not all doctors or patients agree. So, if you’re older than 65, discuss this with your family in advance. Generally, do not resuscitate orders only apply in the hospital. Protecting loved ones if they want you to.

Older adults can make their wishes known if they do not wish to be saved. There are do not resuscitate policies that have been adopted by states. There are different names by the state such as ‘MOST’, Medical Order for Scope of Treatment in states or ‘POLST’, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

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