It's amazing what you can learn from binge-watching Star Trek. Recently, a group of European researchers sat through hundreds of episodes of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and they came away with this observation: cardiac arrest is as deadly in the 24th century as is it is right now. Approximately 96 characters suffered cardiac arrest and, of them, 90 percent of the incidents resulted in death. Favorable neurological outcome and long-term survival was documented in just nine patients (9%). The statements were made in their paper, titled "Where no guideline has gone before: Retrospective analysis of resuscitation in the 24th century."

What's interesting to note is that by the 24th century -- at least as presented by Star Trek -- cardiac arrest will rarely be caused by coronary heart disease. Rather, it's trauma, poisoning, major physical injuries and energy weapons what will precipitate the cardiac arrests. Also worth noting, people who experience cardiac arrest today in a hospital have a greater survival rate than those who suffer cardiac arrest anywhere else. However, the researchers say, where a cardiac arrest occurs in the world of Star Trek is irrelevant, thanks to such innovations as teleportation, tricorders and EMHs. As they put it, "Neurological outcome and survival did not depend on cardiac arrest location."

"Cardiac arrest remains a critical event in the 24th century," the study's authors wrote in the conclusion of their abstract. "We observed a change of etiology from cardiac toward traumatic origin. Quick access to medical help and new prognostic tools were established to treat cardiac arrest."


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