Let’s hope this is an exaggeration

Although it’s been a couple of years since my firm, MedPharma Partners has done consulting work in the hospitalist industry, I still keep my subscription to Today’s Hospitalist Magazine because I like its insights into the hospital environment. I read through the June issue today and found a piece entitled New thinking on resuscitation techniques. It discusses new guidelines that call for bystanders who see out-of-hospital cardiac arrests to focus on performing chest compressions and not bother with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. The article speculates that these guidelines may soon have an impact on in-hospital resuscitation.

That’s interesting enough, but probably wouldn’t merit a blog post. However, I was a little bit shocked as I read on:

Defibrillation times in areas of the hospital outside of telemetry units where defibrillators are immediately available “aren’t much different than in the out-of-hospital setting,” Dr. [Daniel] Davis [of UCSD] said. In addition, doctors and nurses in these areas are not as comfortable assessing potential arrest victims and are often reluctant to initiate chest compressions.

“These providers don’t see a lot of arrests and are no more comfortable determining the presence or absence of a pulse than is your next-door neighbor,” Dr. Davis said…

He’s exaggerating, isn’t he?

July 30, 2008

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