We expect a certain level of medical farfetchery on television, like how Dr. House manages to keep the medical board from taking his license and setting it on fire.
But this lack of realism doesn't really hurt anything other than our intelligence, unlike these Hollywood medical myths, which could hurt you to death:
6CPR Works When Nothing Else Will
As Seen On:
The Abyss, House, ER, Baywatch, Grey's Anatomy, Chicago Hope
According to Hollywood:
Sometimes doctors have to get up close and personal to keep death from stealing away their patients before they have a chance to pay their medical bills. By straddling the patient, giving mouth-to-mouth and pounding on their chest like Alex Van Halen, a doctor can bring someone back from the brink of oblivion, coughing and sputtering but alive and well.
A CPR gang rape doesn't work either.
We're not saying you should never perform CPR in real life--CPR works, sort of, by oxygenating the system and occasionally knocking the heart back in rhythm. However, there's not a whole lot it can do for someone who has already stopped being alive.
Also, CPR is nowhere near as sexilicious as television and the movies make it out to be. A properly performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation usually ends up cracking the patient's ribcage, which doesn't fit so well with a sweeping orchestral soundtrack. And the success rate is staggeringly low, something like two to four percent. In fact, most websites about manual resuscitation will tell you straight out that it almost never works.
Certain death sounds pretty good when the other option is a two to four percent chance of living through some stranger busting your rib cage and slobbering down your throat.
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