Apparently, “Star Trek” isn't the go-to resource for demonstrating how to resuscitate victims of cardiac arrest.
A team of nine Austrian researchers at the Medical University of Vienna boldly analyzed 526 episodes of three “Star Trek” series— “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine” and “Voyager”—and found 96 portrayals of cardiac arrest that were said to take place between the years 2364 and 2378. All “bi-pedal, humanoid species were eligible for inclusion,” while cases that involved death from “complete annihilation by energy weapons or physical encasement into solid objects” were not.
Resuscitation was attempted only 17 times, with the return of spontaneous circulation occurring in 12 patients, according to “Where no guideline has gone before,” a retrospective study published recently in the journal Resuscitation.
Cardiac arrest happened most often to humans, 35 (37%); followed by Klingons, 14 (15%); and Bajorans, 7 (7%). Trauma was the cause in 38 cases, followed by energy weapons in 23 and toxins in 8.
“We observed that chest compressions were performed rarely (five times) and not very close to the guidelines of the 23rd century” found in the Star Fleet Medical Handbook, the researchers wrote, adding that their attempts to find 24th century guidelines were unsuccessful.
“Despite over 300 years of medical developments, survival rates remain low,” researchers concluded.
So much for live long and prosper.