The answer is CLEAR! TV loves CPR.
Those beautiful and handsome doctors on prime-time medical dramas will
stop at nothing to restart a heart in cardiac arrest. Dammit, even if
they have to break a sweat and muss their hair, they're going to save
that poor patient's life.
The reality is that the CPR success rate on television
hospital dramas is wildly out of whack with what happens in the real world. When TV
docs grab their paddles and shoot a high-voltage charge through a human
heart, they save an average of 55% of their patients. In real life, the
CPR survival rate in hospitals is closer to 12% of patients.
It's a challenge for real-life doctors because patients may have an
unrealistic understanding of CPR and its effectiveness. It may lead to
patients being reluctant to request a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order. You can hear more about this tomorrow on White Coat Black Art as we take a close look at the Slow Code.
In the meantime, check out our infographic comparing survival rates in TV hospitals vs real-life hospitals.
on television: Realistic or ridiculous? A Quantitative observational
analysis of the portrayal of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in television
medical drama - Dylan Harris, Hannah Willoughby, Resuscitation 80
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation on Televison - Susan Diem,
John Lantos, James Tulsky, New England Journal of Medicine (June 13,
- Death, Dying and Hollywood - Kimberly Case, Hospice Care Centre (October 2010)
- "If You Must Be Hospitalized, Television Is Not the Place," Amir Hetsroni
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: a 30-year review - A Schneider, Journal
of the American Board of Family Medicine (1993)