Concept

Heroic measure

Summary
In the context of medicine, heroic measures refer to any course of treatment or therapy aimed at saving or prolonging a person's life despite the potential harm that treatment may come with. Heroic measures are almost always used in the scenario of life-threatening situations when all other viable treatment options have failed prior or there is no better treatment option available. The term is not explicitly defined, but rather associated with other umbrella terms such as advanced care planning and end-of-life care. In conversations, people may use other terms depending on the context such as "hail mary" situation to emphasize the desperate for such method of treatment. Enacting sewage detection of the virus during the COVID-19 pandemic is a popular example of a heroic measure activated in a desperate time Cardiopulmonary resuscitations (CPR) serves as a popular example of a heroic measure. CPR is an emergency potentially life-saving procedure used when a person’s heart stops beating or is not breathing that involves chest compressions and rescue breathing. While CPR can be considered a standard of care in the healthcare setting, it is often seen as a last-ditch attempt to save a person's life in an emergency. Suppose a person suffers cardiac arrest and is not near adequate medical attention, CPR can be seen as the only viable option to revive the person. Potential consequences of CPR include sternum fracture, rib fracture, lung contusion, artery rupture, and hemorrhage, but even so, CPR may be medically necessary when the alternative option is death. Amputations of limbs may be considered heroic measures but necessary in situations which call for drastic measures. In the event that a limb gets physically crushed or is damaged beyond repair, the only way to save the patient may be to remove the affected limb. For example, persons with diabetes are at risk of nerve damage if they consistently have high blood sugar. This leaves the affected area at risk for infection and if severe infection occurs and the infected limb is not removed, it can infect the rest of the body which will most often lead to death.
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