Saturday, May 15, 2010

Previously planted defibrillators can cause end-of-life issues

Barry Meier has a noteworthy article in the Business Day section of the Friday May 14 New York Times, “Lifesaving devices can cause havoc at life’s end”, link here.

The gist of the article is that when pacemakers and defibrillators are installed surgically for heart patients, discussions should occur about possible deactivation of defibrillators toward life’s end. Defibrillators in some cases cause pain if they shock a patent actually dying. Some hospices have policies regarding deactivation. On the other hand, when installed earlier, both devices may help prolong life.

Around 2006 many school systems started installing defibrillators and training teachers and administrators to use them. One of my screenplay scripts (“The Sub”) is predicated on an incident where a student saves an elderly substitute teacher’s life with a PE class defibrillator.

Picture: You can see the thunderstorm-driven rainbow

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