A time to die

Michael J Mackay
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb06515.x
Published online: 6 December 2004

Is there something wrong with the way CPR is presently practised?

“That doctor — he should be sacked!” An elderly gentleman was talking about me, and he was doing it on the local television news! My crime was to make the observation in a letter to the MJA that “. . . regular involvement in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) makes me wish the technique had never been introduced.”1 I had waved a red rag in front of bulls. To disparage CPR creates fury in those who, professionally or otherwise, see it as the reason for their existence. My wife had warned me that I would be painted as the bad guy, and, when this happened, my daughter asked cheerfully, “Is Daddy going to be like Pauline Hanson?”.

  • Emergency Department, Mackay Base Hospital, Mackay, QLD.


Competing interests:

None identified.

  • 1. Mackay MJ. Decision making in CPR [letter]. Med J Aust 1999; 170: 46.
  • 2. Callan DJ. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest — the solution is shocking. N Engl J Med 2004; 351: 632-634.
  • 3. Nichol G, Stiell IG, Laupacis A, et al. A cumulative meta-analysis of the effectiveness of defibrillator-capable emergency medical services for victims of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Ann Emerg Med 1999; 34 (4 Pt 1): 517-525.
  • 4. O’Rourke FM, Davies CS. Cardiac arrest in Australian hospitals [editorial]. Med J Aust 2003; 179: 461-462. <MJA full text>
  • 5. Wassertheil J, Keane G, Fisher N, Leditschke JF. Cardiac arrest outcomes at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Shrine of Remembrance using a tiered response strategy — a forerunner to public access defibrillation. Resuscitation 2000; 44: 97-104.
  • 6. Bernard S. Outcome from prehospital cardiac arrest in Melbourne, Australia. Emerg Med 1998; 10: 25-29.
  • 7. O’Rourke FM. Surviving cardiac arrest [editorial]. Med J Aust 2002; 177: 284-285. <MJA full text>
  • 8. Marenco JP, Wang PJ, Link MS, et al. Improving survival from sudden cardiac arrest: the role of the automated external defibrillator. JAMA 2001; 285: 1193-1200.
  • 9. Caffrey SL, Sherry L, Willoughby PJ, et al. Public use of external defibrillators. N Engl J Med 2002; 347: 1242-1247.
  • 10. Finn JC, Jacobs IG. Cardiac arrest resuscitation policies and practices: a survey of Australian hospitals. Med J Aust 2003; 179: 470-474. <MJA full text>
  • 11. Gray WA. Prehospital resuscitation.The good, the bad, and the futile. JAMA 1993; 270: 1471-1472.
  • 12. Hauswald M, Tanberg D. Out-of-hospital resuscitation preferences of emergency health care workers. Am J Emerg Med 1993; 11: 221-224.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.