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May 24, 1993

Futile Resuscitation Outcomes

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC

Arch Intern Med. 1993;153(10):1268. doi:10.1001/archinte.1993.00410100090014

Jecker and Schneiderman1 state that few studies have examined survival rates following hospital discharge of individuals undergoing successful cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Also, few reports sought to identify factors that may predispose certain patients to poor outcomes. The authors overlooked a pertinent publication. The first series published in the United States on the experience of a "code blue" team in a general hospital presented data on both their concerns.2 Half of the discharged patients had died within a year. Age, underlying heart disease, and the presence of metabolic derangements were factors predisposing to failed attempts. Subsequent experience,3 while increasing the numbers of observations, changed none of the underlying principles.

In trying to formulate protocols and standards for an exemption to universal use of resuscitation, Jecker and Schneiderman may have overlooked some early data to support their position.