The Hidden Harms of CPR; The brutal procedure can save lives, but only in particular cases. Why has it become a default treatment? Although CPR has become synonymous with medical heroism, nearly
by Paul Alexander
nearly eighty-five per cent of those who receive it in a hospital die, their last moments marked by pain and chaos; it is an open secret in medicine that CPR is both brutal and rarely effective.
‘The result, done correctly, is akin to assault. The force of compressions can shatter ribs and breastbones, puncture lungs, bruise the heart, and cause major blood vessels to rupture. Repeated electrical shocks can burn flesh. Even if the procedure restores a heartbeat, brain damage—whether mild memory loss or a vegetative state—occurs in forty per cent of hospitalized patients.’