Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) & Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR)

What is CPR & DNACPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a treatment or first aid for when a heart stops beating unexpectedly. If someone’s heart stops suddenly this is called a cardiac arrest and CPR may enable them to stay alive.

CRP is most effective when the rest of the organs are healthy, however when someone has longer term organ damage or multiple illnesses CPR is unlikely to help. When a person is so ill that they are close to dying, the organs will become weaker and gradually stop working, this is called Ordinary Dying. In this situation, where the heart is the last organ to stop working, CPR will not rescue a person from dying.

Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) is a statement to guide health care professionals about what to do when a person’s heart stops beating. Without a DNACPR treatment can be given that is inappropriate; a DNACPR can be viewed as a protection certificate at the end of life.

Wayne Martin, Professor of Philosophy, The Autonomy Project, University of Essex will be exploring areas relating to CPR and DNACPR at the upcoming ACP Conference. To attend this year’s conference click on the button below.

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