Justifying these selfish, skewed priorities in my head as I stuffed a basketball into my backpack and pedaled away from our home would turn out to be one of the most formidable obstacles in my path. I must have whispered, What the f--- am I doing? as many times as I leaped toward one of the rusty rims scattered around the south Los Angeles beach community where we live. That latter number tallied somewhere around 5,000, according to my journal and 24-plus hours of video. Many of these jumps were attempted while wearing a weighted vest that pulled me downward, the same way that home pulled me sideways.
A total of 1679 patients were enrolled — 858 in the dopamine group and 821 in the norepinephrine group (Figure 1). All patients were followed to day 28; data on the outcome during the stay in the hospital were available for 1656 patients (98.6%), data on the 6-month outcome for 1443 patients (85.9%), and data on the 12-month outcome for 1036 patients (61.7%). There were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to most of the baseline characteristics (Table 1); there were small differences, which were of questionable clinical relevance, in the heart rate, partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide (PaCO2), arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2), and ratio of partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) to fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2). The type of shock that was seen most frequently was septic shock (in 1044 patients [62.2%]), followed by cardiogenic shock (in 280 patients [16.7%]) and hypovolemic shock (in 263 patients [15.7%]). The sources of sepsis are detailed in Table 2 in the Supplementary Appendix. Hydrocortisone was administered in 344 patients who received dopamine (40.1%) and in 326 patients who received norepinephrine (39.7%). Among patients with septic shock, recombinant activated human protein C was administered in 102 patients in the dopamine group (18.8%) and 96 patients in the norepinephrine group (19.1%).