House Wiki

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR for short is an emergency and first aid technique to prevent brain death in a person who has no heart beat, irregular heart beat or any kind of heart attack. It is always used in hospital settings where defibrillators and heart-lung bypass machines are available methods of dealing with cardiac arrest but they do fuckall without CPR.

CPR works best with two persons. The patient is placed flat on their back and one person compresses the ribcage just above the heart approximately 1-2 inches with five quick thrusts in about four seconds. At that point, the other person performs artificial respiration, fully filling the patient's lungs with air and letting it escape. The thrusts are then repeated, followed by another breath.

CPR can work for exceedingly long periods of time, but is extremely tiring and usually causes broken ribs to the patient. Exceedingly long meaning that time of death is usually called 30 minutes from start of CPR if output hasn't been resumed. As such, emergency care is always called for and outside of a hospital setting, an ambulance should be called after CPR is started if that is possible.

In Human Error, Foreman and Cameron lead a team to perform CPR on the patient for more than three hours when House instructs them not to put the patient on bypass as he fears clotting will cause a stroke. This was totally unrealistic and would probably have gotten all of them charged with mishandling a dead person as any form of cardiac arrest lasting longer than 30 minutes is almost always fatale. But especially if someone has no rhythm what so ever CPR would usually be stopped even earlier if there is no sign of resuscitation.