It always saddens me that people can’t let go. People are so afraid of loss that we sometimes ignore the basic fundaments of supporting life.
We are chiefly concerned with lives and only secondarily with quality of life. We have come to accept that CPR saves lives and does no harm. Sadly this assumption is wrong. CPR may be harmful, first, to the subject, second, to relatives, third, to healthcare staff and, fourth to society.
I think it is important the care professionals and laymen that apply CPR also learn that in some situations no action should be taken. Sadly, as a society we are afraid to discus this. The primary reason for this is we are afraid of death. We have a hard time accepting that death is part of the human condition.
In 1990, the American Heart Association developed the Chain of Survival. This protocol addresses the fact that most sudden cardiac arrest episodes occur outside of a hospital, with death occurring within minutes of onset. For the Chain to be effective, quick execution of each and every link is critical. With each minute that passes, the likelihood of survival decreases 7-10%.
|Time after the onset of cardiac arrest||Survival Chances|
|With every minute||Chance are reduced by 7 – 10%|
|within 4 – 6 minutes||Brain damage and permanent death start to occur|
|after 10 minutes||few attempts at resuscitation succeed|
It angers me that journalists and doctors interviewed about the case of our Prince Friso all focus on the slim chance of recovery. No one seems to want to discuss the fact that the EMS personnel didn’t take responsibility and stop CPR after 10 minutes. No one discusses that we should have let go and accept that this skiing accident should have led to death.
Because of my research I know how family members will suffer the coming months / years. Even if he comes out of coma he will never be the person he was. I wonder how many people really know how bad this situation can be, when a severely brain-damaged person recovers.
I hope and pray that we can learn to accept the loss of a loved one. This is part of life.
I’m hoping to start a national discussion that when you don’t know how long someone has been oxygen deprived you don’t start CPR. I also hope you will think for a minute in which situations you don’t want to be resuscitated and allow for a natural death. Voice your choice.
I’m sorry if I’ve hurt people by expressing my view, but I just had to write this down.