Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Real World

It always drive me crazy when I'm watching TV and I see someone doing CPR wrong.  I yell at the TV and curse up and down.  Not only is it annoying to see people on TV doing it wrong, but I think it's hugely irresponsible.  When TV doctors bounce up and down on a patient's chest for a few seconds and miraculously bring them back to life, I think it gives ordinary folks the impression that CPR is really that easy.

First of all, if you're not CPR certified, you should be.  It's simple do do and could save someone's life.

Second of all, I know TV isn't real.  But does that mean they should get a pass for not portraying something accurately?

Another pet peeve is when people on TV shock someone who has flatlined back to life.  I know it's all dramatic, but a flatline (or asystole, when the heart has stopped beating completely) isn't a heart rhythm that can be shocked back to normal.  One of the most common rhythms that can be shocked is ventricular fibrillation, which is when the heart begins to freak out instead of contract.  Shocking that abnormal heart rhythm can return it to normal.  But TV shows rarely show that.  They show a flatline and then someone shocking the person back to life.

So the question is: where does the line between reality and fantasy begin?  I feel that even fiction has a responsibility to be accurate.  Especially when an inaccuracy might harm someone down the road.  I mean, I know that fiction and drama often require bending or even breaking the truth.  But at what point does it become reckless to trade accuracy for drama?

Most people aren't going to be in a position to do brain surgery or defuse a bomb or leap from one speeding car into another, so accuracy in that department seems less necessary.  But the chances are much higher that an average person might need to perform the Heimlich maneuver or CPR, and if they're only knowledge of those life saving techniques comes from TV, where they're more likely to beat on someone's chest, then we're all in trouble.

Seriously...take a CPR class.    

1 comment:

  1. Only sort of on topic, but I hate it when any kind of storytelling allows one character to knock another one out with a blow to the head. I'm not a doctor, but my understanding is that's it's very difficult to knock someone unconscious without seriously injuring them.


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