You’ve probably seen a resuscitation attempt in a movie or a television show. Maybe you saw a medical drama where a doctor was crouching on top of a gurney, urgently performing chest compressions while the nurses carried the gurney down the corridor. You might have even heard the doctors make a simple announcement that someone didn’t have a pulse without even attempting CPR. If you’re not well-versed in CPR or Basic Life Support, you might be wondering how true these depictions are compared to real life.
As movies are merely for entertainment, the directors might not have attempted to ensure complete accuracy. Most of the time, CPR in movies is not performed accurately.
CPR in Movies Is Successful Most of the Time
One of the most common issues with CPR shown in movies is that it’s depicted as successful almost all of the time. A simple poll of on-screen CPR would most likely reveal that it is about 90% effective. This is not the case, particularly in cases where victims might go through cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. For any chance of a favorable outcome, an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest requires quick reaction times and immediate transfer by emergency medical care personnel.
Survival rates for those who code outside of the hospital are currently fewer than 10%, while a significantly higher percentage of people survive if only CPR is performed by bystanders. It can be disheartening for people to learn that CPR for their loved ones are not as positive as they had hoped after watching the movies.
CPR in Movies Is Not Performed Accurately
Another major issue with CPR done in movies is that it is frequently performed wrongly. Chest compressions are done slowly, and the chest is not pressed down as far as it should be. The rescue breaths done in movies often take up a lot of time. According to the 2020 American Heart Association guidelines on Basic Life Support, it is recommended to do 1 breath every 6 seconds for adults.
Furthermore, current guidelines recommend compressing at a pace of 100 to 120 compressions per minute, which is fairly fast. Professionals who administer CPR effectively in real-life quickly tire out and must swap out frequently. Of course, actors may find it difficult to represent CPR accurately because it is extremely risky to perform it on someone who does not need medical attention.
You can’t depend on the films to give you a decent understanding of successful CPR until the movies adjust their representations of CPR to be more accurate and realistic. In fact, if you’ve watched lots of medical shows and think you’d be helpful in a crisis because you understand what to do, make sure you brush up on your skills beforehand.
Learn Real CPR with South Florida Healthcare Institute
Interested in learning how to do CPR the right way? You can start now at South Florida Healthcare Institute! Going through our simple Basic Life Support course will give you the skill and confidence you need to become a certified CPR provider. We offer a range of programs from Advanced Cardiac Life Support to Pediatric Advanced Life Support. To know more about our courses, do contact us today!