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    A patient requires life support when one or more vital organs fail, due to causes such as trauma, infection, cancer, heart attack, or chronic disease. Among the purposes of life support are to:

    • Establish and maintain the ABC's of resuscitation—airway, breathing, and circulation.
    • Restore the patient's homeostasis—the internal chemical and physical balance of the body.
    • Protect the patient from complications of the underlying disease and its treatment.

    Source: The Gale Group. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed.";

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