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ILLEGAL USE OF CODE

Medical care institutions need to be alert to people who get an inordinate thrill out of emergency situations. There have been several notorious cases of nurses who injected patients with paralyzing drugs for the thrill of the resuscitation. Not all the resuscitations were successful. This is an extreme example, but many hospitals have physicians or nurses who cannot stay away from the excitement. While they may be very capable members of the CPR team, they may consciously or unconsciously precipitate emergency situations. A patient's family, who has been watching the patient for weeks, may be more sensitive to this problem than other health care personnel, which increases the risk of litigation over a resuscitation that goes wrong. Anyone not involved with the resuscitation should be firmly excluded from the scene. Disciplinary action should be taken against personnel who act inappropriately.


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