Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers A memorable mistake

Please come back—the patient won't take her cotton wool

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 12 December 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1646
  1. Andrew Bacon, anaesthetist
  1. Dandenong, Victoria, Australia

    Back in 1967, hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation teams were new, almost as new as my medical degree. My preregistration houseman duties included coronary care, directed by a highly regarded general physician of legendary wisdom and humanity. It was accepted by all that it was inappropriate to admit patients over the age of 70 to coronary care or to resuscitate them on the ward. After all, the bible indicated that a life span of three score years and ten was normal. No ethics committees in those days.

    This particular cardiac …

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