The first time I did CPR, coagulated blood spurted onto my new white coat from a wound in the patient’s chest. Another time a patient’s urine soaked through the knees of my pants as I knelt at his side.
Even in the best of conditions, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a spit-smeared, bloody business that can expose health care workers to all kinds of body fluids. Like all health care workers, I put on gloves and a game face and accept such things as part of patient care.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak changes all that. It is much more dangerous for clinicians to resuscitate patients with Ebola. As a result, should we skip CPR altogether? Bioethicist Joseph Fins of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University recently suggested we should.
I disagree. See my rebuttal at Health Affairs. What do you think?