Not always! And knowing the difference between true-to-life medical practices and dramatic license could give you more realistic expectations when you face a medical scare. So, here’s how the experts rate a few Hollywood health scenarios. We found this intelligence in Women’s Health magazine.
- On the series Lost a character is strangled and stops breathing. And after CPR fails, one frustrated fist-smack to the chest revives him. It may seem far-fetched, but it could work. According to emergency specialist Dr. Benjamin Abo, a hard-enough hit to chest can produce enough electricity to jump-start a heart, but only if you do it within seconds of it stopping. Bottom line: CPR is your best bet to re-start a heart.
- On the soap opera The Young & the Restless, a character in a coma makes a full recovery, more than once. Neurological expert Dr. David Casarett says that on soaps, 90% of coma patients recover. But in reality, if a coma lasts more than a month, the patient has only a 50% chance of survival. And coma patients usually die or go into a persistent vegetative state. Which means, they aren’t aware of their surroundings. In fact, the longer a person stays unconscious, the less likely they’re going to wake up and be fully normal again.
- And the final “is it real-life or is it fiction” medical procedure: in Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin Williams performs a Heimlich maneuver so violent that his old-lady makeup pops off. In real life, Dr. Casarett says that your hand motions need to be forceful, but not that rough. And during a genuine Heimlich maneuver, the stuck food does not pop out and fly across the room!