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Thursday, 30 June 2005 11:18
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Doctors attack “distortion” by TV medical dramas
Television medical dramas such as ER and Casualty have been accused by doctors of representing “a terrible distortion of reality” by suggesting that patients are regularly brought back to life using CPR.

Doctors at the British Medical association conference in Manchester said that dramas that regularly show patients being revived using cardiac pulmonary resuscitation, both manually and with electronic pads, cause stress for doctors who have to constantly explain to patient’s loved ones why CPR will not work.

In reality, less than half of patients whose heart stops in hospital survive, and only 2 per cent of those whose heart stops in the street survive.

Dr Andrew Thomson, from Dundee, explained that relatives often expect patients to survive because they had seen it regularly on TV.

"ER, Casualty, Holby City, Chicago Hope, Rescue 911 - we know them all. Are they performing true CPR or are they completely protecting reality?" he said.

"The New England Journal of Medicine published a study of success rates of media CPR. It showed a 77 per cent revival rate and a 67 per cent discharge rate. This is a terrible distortion of reality."

Dr Katie McLaren, from North Berwick, said: "We just want to protect the public who very often think we can bring people back to life. It does happen - but not very frequently."


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