Time spent on resuscitation of a celebrity

  1. With the passing of Michael Jackson today I had a question of when is enough in the resuscitation of a celebrity. Apparently there had been well over an hour of resuscitation attempted on Mr. Jackson. This started well past when his heart initially stopped. When Princes Diana died, over an hour was spent attempting to resuscitate her, including open chest heart massages. What is the point of spending that long attempting to bring someone back who has been down for such extreme lengths of time? Such lengths are warranted in cases where cold is involved and the body and brain are protected, but what is the point of spending an hour to bring someone back who has no chance of revival without total brain death? Is this to prevent lawsuits? Perhaps is it our inability to allow those whom we hold in such high regard to pass when it is obvious to someone outside of the situation that they are gone?
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    About DuluthMike

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 176; Likes: 389
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience in ICU, ED, PACU

    22 Comments

  3. by   Ack_RN
    I think sometimes it's just hard to let go. EMS did CPR for half an hour on a young foster child my aunt had, and she certainly wasn't a celebrity.
  4. by   Designer NP
    This just doesn't happen with celebrities...I've seen many codes well over an hour long.
  5. by   PostOpPrincess
    The longest code I had was 7 hours long.

    On a 19-year-old with an amniotic embolus. She was down for a long time.

    She survived with some physical deficits, short term memory issues, but she's been doing well for over 10 years now.

    Who woulda thought??
  6. by   catshowlady
    I had a pt that we coded twice in one afternoon - never really stabilized him between the two codes. Total time was about 2 hours. Another pt we coded for 90min then sent him to cath lab. He made it for a month afterward - might have lived if we could have stablized his heart long enough to fix his gut.

    I don't think an hour is exceptional - you do CPR, you intubate, you push meds, you do labs, you fix any issues with labs (K, Mag levels off, acidosis/alkalosis, etc.), invasive lines are placed, xrays done maybe. It depends on how the code unfolds, whether you get a rhythm back for a while, etc.

    Oh, and a witnessed code where CPR can be started right away gives you a lot better chance to preserve brain function than if someone has been down for God knows how long. I understand Michael Jackson's doctor was in attendance when his heart stopped.
  7. by   GOMER42
    We regularly resuscitate for an hour+...
  8. by   Kim O'Therapy
    Quote from JoPACURN
    The longest code I had was 7 hours long.

    On a 19-year-old with an amniotic embolus. She was down for a long time.

    She survived with some physical deficits, short term memory issues, but she's been doing well for over 10 years now.

    Who woulda thought??
    Wow!! I'm a brand new nurse and I didn't even know that a 7 hour effort was even possible! Congratulations on bringing her back.
  9. by   RNKel
    I've been in one code ~ lasted over 2.5 hours. She didn't make it.
  10. by   pennyaline
    Coding for an hour is not unusual. It's especially not unusual with a young patient (50) with no known illnesses or medical conditions, no known DRN status, and no family members yet on sight with the right to make the patient's decisions for him.

    So, no. He wasn't resuscitated for an hour because he was a celebrity.
  11. by   netglow
    Oh you can bet the facility made sure, no matter what, that they could tell the media that all avenues were tried. Not that an hour wouldn't be spent for anyone else, but no facility treating a world known celebrity wants the media to report anything but heroic efforts.
  12. by   TiffyRN
    It's not very likely to be successful (resus >1hr) but it's certainly not unusual. I've never seen a good outcome from resus >1hr.
  13. by   Dalzac
    an hour for resusitation is not a rare thing, happens all the time. I think for a celebrity they would have gone longer if they had any sign of any life.
  14. by   GadgetRN71
    Quote from NurseCutie
    This just doesn't happen with celebrities...I've seen many codes well over an hour long.
    I participated in one in the OR a few years ago on a 78 year old guy! He lived and 4 days later was sitting up in bed talking with family. That was freakin' awesome.

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