As much as you might love watching the popular TV drama Grey’s Anatomy, don’t mistake it for real medicine, researchers suggest. If you do, your expectations may exceed reality if you ever find yourself in an emergency room.
The researchers, led by Dr Jordan Weinberg, from the department of surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, compared the TV portrayal of treatment of 290 trauma patients in 269 episodes of the show with more than 48 000 actual patients treated for trauma in 2012. While 71% of patients on the TV show went straight from emergency care to an operating room, that happened in only 25% of real-life cases. And only 6% of trauma survivors on the TV show were transferred to long-term care, compared with 22% of real-life patients.