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Hospitalized patients need better understanding of CPR and outcomes
Date:6/3/2009

ready experienced serious illness.

The study showed that approximately three out of four patients thought they knew what CPR stood for and what it entails. However, only about 30 percent of patients actually knew that CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. More important, only one in four patients (27 percent) understood that CPR in a hospital setting involves the use of an external defibrillator (electricity), and even fewer (7 percent) knew that dying patients would have a tube placed through the mouth and into the windpipe (intubation) and then be placed on a breathing machine. More than half of patients (59 percent) knew that manual chest compressions were used in CPR.

"CPR as it is used in the hospital setting is a more intensive procedure than many patients realized," Kaldjian said.

When patients were asked about the likelihood that CPR would allow them to survive and be discharged from hospital, the average prediction was 60 percent. The actual chance, on average, is about 18 percent.

When patients were additionally told that the odds of surviving CPR and still having good brain function are even lower -- only about 7 percent -- nearly one in five said that would influence them to change their preference regarding the use of resuscitation.

Kaldjian said that doctors should identify better ways to discuss resuscitation preferences with patients. "Placing these discussions in a wider context of goals of care may make it easier for patients to understand whether CPR is preferable, depending on the likelihood that CPR would help them achieve their care goals," he said.

"The hospital setting is often very busy, and it's hard to take time to talk about resuscitation preferences in a clear, informed and patient-centered way" he said. "We need to find feasible ways of having meaningful discussions, so that patients understand what doctors are telling them, and doctors understand what patients value and
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Contact: Jennifer Brown
jennifer-l-brown@uiowa.edu
319-335-9917
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

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