In DepthEmergency Medicine

Clinical trials test potential CPR upgrade

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Science  01 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6430, pp. 913-914
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6430.913

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  • ECPR ethics must be considered
    • Ellis Muggleton, Anaesthetist/Intensive Care Physician, Klinikum rechts der Isar

    Just as CPR use has been extended from those with a reversible cause of cardiac arrest with a potential for good recovery to, in many cases, patients with chronic terminal diseases the use of ECPR needs to be carefully examined. It should only be used after studies have determined which patients will benefit, not as the new default treatment. Some patients die, that is how life works. The current excess use of technology is leading to the avoidance of difficult situations and a degradation of dignity of dying patients. CPR in ninety year old multi-morbid patients is becoming more and more common for various unacceptable reasons. Technology is not always the answer. CPR doesn’t usually work and ECPR will also probably not often work but it’s use comes at a cost, an emotional, financial and human cost.

    Dr Ellis Muggleton

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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