What does 'present stasis' mean? Ambulance on BBC term explained

Ambulance series 5 drew to a close on Thursday, July 16th with one of its most heart wrenching episodes to date.

Viewers knew they were in for a dramatic finale, as within the first couple of minutes the North West Ambulance Service team was dealing with a cardiac arrest.

One of the telephone operators guided a caller through CPR while they waited for the ambulance service to arrive. However, when the ambulance did arrive, the paramedic used a term which stumped viewers. So, what does ‘present stasis’ mean?

Screenshot: Ambulance – Liverpool S5 E6 – iPlayer

Ambulance uses ‘present stasis’ diagnosis

The caller on the phone had rung 999 as her father was having a heart attack. The medic on the line guided them through CPR, however things did not look good when the paramedics arrived.

In the episode, we heard the paramedic takeover the CPR duty and then pick up the phone. They explained to the NHS professional:

It’s the paramedic. I’ve asked her to stop. The gentleman’s got present stasis.

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What does present stasis mean in medical terms?

Many viewers were confused as to what ‘present stasis’ meant, as it was serious enough for the paramedics to stop the CPR.

In medical terms, stasis means a slowing or stoppage of the normal flow of a bodily fluid. This can occur all over the body and there are different types of stasis. This includes venous stasis, which impacts the flow of blood through veins. This was not what the patient was suffering from.

It is likely that the patient had hypostasis; essentially the blood flow stopped after his heart attack.

As his daughter, the caller, was in extreme distress, the paramedics potentially used this term as a gentler way of saying he had passed away.




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