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Resuscitation. 1991 Dec;22(3):229-35.

Resuscitation attitudes among medical personnel: how much do we really want to be done?

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, CA 94305.


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is attempted every day. Whereas medical professionals and personnel perform these resuscitation attempts, no previous studies have reported the attitudes of medical personnel towards resuscitation for themselves. We have attempted to assess the prevalent attitudes among various physicians at various levels in training and nurses. An eleven item questionnaire was sent to medical students, house officers, attending physicians and registered nurses at university medical centers. Each questionnaire consisted of respondent's sociodemographic information, their attitudes about CPR for themselves and their beliefs about outcome after CPR with particular disease states. The results were analyzed using chi-square analysis. Four hundred questionnaires were mailed and 240 were returned (60% response rate). All groups favored resuscitation in a university hospital over other sites (P less than 0.05). More nurses requested to be 'no code' compared with other professionals (P less than 0.005). Attending physicians requested that CPR attempts be terminated after less time than any other group (P less than 0.005). Medical students requested resuscitation significantly more than any other group in the presence of terminal conditions such as metastatic cancer, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (P less than 0.005). Medical personnel's beliefs about CPR may be influenced by their experiences with particular patients and events. As trainees acquire more experience they appear less inclined to desire resuscitation efforts for themselves.

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