Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"The Aztecs had believed the world would end in one of four ways: earthquake, fire, flood, or jaguars falling from the sky. Here there would be no fire. Nor earthquake nor flood ... leaving only the jaguars." -- Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars.

In movies and television shows, defibrilation and CPR abounds. It seems like if someone has a heart attack, a few quick pounds on the chest or a zap or two will make them right as rain.

I always wondered: really? Does it work that well?

In Canada, a new test is helping EMT's not waste their time with hopeless cases.

It points out that, among 1,240 patients brought to the hospital after cardiac arrest, 41 survived. That's just better than 3 per cent, folks.

Don't get your hopes up.

(Of course, it may be much higher if you are, say, in a hospital and have a defibrilator at your bedside when the attack occurs.)


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