This Time, We Really, Really, Really, Really, Know The Answer


Prolonging CPR Doesn’t Help

September 2, 2011– Increasing the time spent administering CPR to cardiac arrest patients won’t increase their chances of survival, researchers said Wednesday, putting to rest one of the raging debates in emergency medicine.

Our study definitively shows that there is no advantage to a longer period of initial CPR,” said Dr Ian Stiell, a senior scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), one of the entities leading the study.

Definitively, I’ll say that the matter is settle until the next study comes out. Little in medicine is definitive. I was discussing medicine with one of the ED physicians I know pretty well. We were talking about an interesting case where the patient appeared to be having an MI, but wasn’t. Everyone thought it was, everyone treated the patient as if she were having one, and it was only in the cath lab that the MI was ruled out. As it happened, the treatment for what she did have (which I plan to write a blog post about) was identical to what we would do if she was having an MI. Got that? Anyway, the doctor mentioned that medicine was really more art than science in reality we don’t know that much about how the human body works. We know some things, and can usually guess at many of the others, but in many cases we are like blind hogs rooting about for acorns. Every once in a while, we find one, but most of the time we don’t.

H/T to Central Mass Medics for the link and a line that I only wish I could have come up with,

Evidence-based medicine is only as good as the evidence that begets it.

Which of course brings me back to that whole skepticism about studies thing.

I wonder if any systems will change the protocols after this definitive study?


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