Some paramedics with advanced training - those who can give drugs and start IVs - already are allowed to stop giving CPR if their efforts fail and they have consulted a doctor, said lead researcher Dr. Laurie J. Morrison of the University of Toronto.
But 60 percent of Americans and Canadians, mostly in rural areas, are served by rescue workers who only have basic skills and don't have that option, she
"Now they make no decisions whatsoever," Morrison
said."They just start the resuscitation, put them in the back of the ambulance, and drive."
Taking such lost causes to the hospital ties up ambulances and emergency departments, and the race to get there is hazardous for rescue workers and other motorists, researchers said. Morrison
group studied the issue after she
was approached by two frustrated paramedics.
said surveys suggest that families often accept the decision to stop CPR.