Defibrillation in the movies: a missed opportunity for public health education.
To characterize defibrillation and cardiac arrest survival outcomes in movies.Movies from 2003 to 2012 with defibrillation scenes were reviewed for patient and rescuer characteristics, scene characteristics, defibrillation characteristics, additional interventions, and cardiac arrest survival outcomes. Resuscitation actions were compared with chain of survival actions and the American Heart Association (AHA) Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) 2020 Impact Goals. Cardiac arrest survival outcomes were compared with survival rates reported in the literature and targeted by the AHA ECC 2020 Impact Goals.Thirty-five scenes were identified in 32 movies. Twenty-five (71%) patients were male, and 29 (83%) rescuers were male. Intent of defibrillation was resuscitation in 29 (83%) scenes and harm in 6 (17%) scenes. Cardiac arrest was the indication for use in 23 (66%) scenes, and the heart rhythm was made known in 18 scenes (51%). When the heart rhythm was known, defibrillation was appropriately used for ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation in 5 (28%) scenes and inappropriately used for asystole in 7 (39%) scenes. In 8 scenes with in-hospital cardiac arrest, 7 (88%) patients survived, compared to survival rates of 23.9% reported in the literature and 38% targeted by an AHA ECC 2020 Impact Goal. In 12 movie scenes with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, 8 (67%) patients survived, compared to survival rates of 7.9-9.5% reported in peer-reviewed literature and 15.8% targeted by an AHA ECC 2020 Impact Goal.In movies, defibrillation and cardiac arrest survival outcomes are often portrayed inaccurately, representing missed opportunities for public health education.
Mgbako, OU; Ha, YP; Ranard, BL; Hypolite, KA; Sellers, AM; Nadkarni, LD; Becker, LB; Asch, DA; Merchant, RM
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)