CPR

Coming off the M74 today, I rounded a bend to see a man at the side of the road gesturing at me to slow down.

A little further on, we came across a group of people standing round a man who was being resuscitated. “Fighting for his life” as they say in the media. As is the case with such people, he wasn’t doing much fighting, more lying there unresponsive with someone kneeling beside him in the rain compressing his chest.

It was quite shocking for some reason. I’ve seen CPR being given many times in a hospital setting but here, it was a tubby middle-aged man spreadeagled on the hard shoulder in the pale winter light, his clothing in disarray.

CPR isn’t very successful usually. According to this page, about ten percent of recipients survive to be discharged from hospital. Some of those people will have neurological damage.

Resuscitation isn’t always appropriate and not always wanted. I think if I survive into my dotage and land in hospital, I wouldn’t want to be resuscitated unless I’m in great shape.