Here’s an unfortunate title for a worthwhile study: CPR In The Elderly Is Very Successful. Hello? When someone dies, the alternative to CPR is…doing nothing. We here at Doc Gurley believe (with substantial amounts of data to back us up) that the mortality rate from doing nothing, at the time of certain death is, well, let’s just say it’s probably high. Compared to CPR, that is. Sigh. So why is this study worthwhile? There’s a persistent rumor in most health fields that there’s no point in resuscitating the very old – especially if you’re talking about not only survival, but whether or not someone will live with their brain function intact. This study found that CPR in the very elderly (aged 80′s and 90′s) had equivalent rates of success to that of people younger – including neurologic function. In fact, the 10% survival in out-of-hospital arrests was slightly better than the comparison group, perhaps because these elderly were more likely to live in nursing homes with equipment and trained staff (who contact EMS early). Take Home Message? Learn CPR. Remember – time is of the essence. And check out the Doc Gurley post on Disc Defeats Death for a catchy way to remember how to perform CPR well.