Why Restart a Heart?

A study shows most patients who are revived never leave the hospital

IT HAS HAPPENED IN MAYBE A MILLION TELEVISION shows: the monitor above a critically ill patient's bed goes beep, beep, beep . . . beeeeeeeeeeeeeep. Doctors and nurses rush to the bedside. The patient's heart has stopped, and the medical professionals go into a frenzy trying to start it up again.

What TV rarely acknowledges is the aftermath. Few of the patients revived ever get well enough to leave the hospital -- and a study from Duke University Medical Center shows how few. Doctors monitored 146 very sick people given cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) over a three-year period. Only 58% could be...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!