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[Perspectives] The land of the lotus eaters

One of the first cardiac arrests I was called to as a resident was in the middle of the night for a young woman who had overdosed on a mixture of heroin and fentanyl. A senior resident ran the code from the foot of the bed while another intern and I took it in turn to do chest compressions until the new automatic CPR machine was assembled and moved into place around the patient’s torso, at which point it took over and we stepped back, watching the oddly silent piston extend and retract, momentarily uncertain what to do with ourselves.