Elderly too optimistic about reanimation outcomes

Elderly people are not sufficiently aware of the health problems that can arise following reanimation after a heart attack, according to healthcare experts.

In particular, the question of whether to be reanimated or not should be raised with elderly people by a doctor, according to new guidelines from the gerontologists’ association Verenso and nursing and care organisation V&VN.

The elderly have an optimistic view of reanimation but it can often do more harm than good, says Verenso. For this reason, general practitioners should speak to patients about the pros and cons and encourage them to make an informed choice.

According to Verenso, figures show that eight out of 100 people in their 70s who have a heart attack outside of hospital survive after reanimation. However, half of the survivors suffer serious problems such as brain damage or coma.

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