CPR is an emergency treatment which tries to restart a person’s heart or breathing when these suddenly stop (cardiac and/or respiratory arrest). CPR does NOT refer to other treatments such as antibiotics or ‘drips’ which are treated separately.
CPR can include:
‘Mouth-to-mouth’ or ‘mask-to-mouth’ breathing
Pushing down firmly on the chest repeatedly (chest compressions)
In hospitals, a tube may be put in the windpipe, and a bag or machine is used to pump oxygen into the lungs
Machines known as defibrillators may also be used to deliver electric shocks to the heart: only certain types of cardiac arrest respond to defibrillators.

Our staff are trained in chest compressions (and ‘mask-to-mouth’ if appropriate) to cover the very rare situations when patients might benefit from an attempt at CPR. We also have an on-site defibrillator. In this situation a ‘999’ ambulance will also be called.

Sometimes the media present CPR as being very successful.
CPR usually only works in certain situations: people who were previously well and who have specific types of cardiac arrest are much more likely to respond to treatment.
Only one in eight people (with all kinds of illness) who receive CPR in Hospital will recover enough to leave hospital.
In people with very serious, advanced illnesses (for example advanced cancer or severe heart or lung disease) only about one person in a hundred who receives CPR will recover enough to leave hospital.

CPR can sometimes cause broken ribs and internal bleeding. Even if people survive after CPR, they may be left with additional medical complications such as brain damage.

Resuscitation is considered to be a medical treatment, so the ultimate responsibility for the decision usually rests with the senior doctor caring for you.
At home this will usually be your GP. In the Hospice ward, this will usually be the consultant responsible for your care.
The medical and nursing team will always consider whether CPR is appropriate for people under the care of St Michael’s. Decisions are reviewed by the clinical team looking after you. Our aim is to emphasise your comfort and provide you with dignity at all stages of life to make sure that any medical treatment will provide maximal benefit and minimise burden.

If you do not have a current valid Not for Resuscitation form, we will discuss CPR with you, unless it appears that to do so would be harmful. The doctor in charge of your care will tell you if they think you would not benefit from resuscitation.
Should you require inpatient care and CPR is particularly relevant to your needs, or you are concerned to have full CPR facilities available, it may on rare occasions be appropriate for you to be cared for in a hospital rather than at St Michael’s.

Patients will have a CPR decision recorded in their medical notes normally within 48 hours. If a patient is not for resuscitation then the nationally agreed red form is completed and endorsed by the consultant responsible for the patient’s care.

We recognise that these situations are potentially very stressful for you and those close to you. You have a right to a second opinion if you are unhappy with any CPR decision.

Definitely not. We always ensure that our patients have the treatment they need and endeavour to maintain their comfort and dignity at all times.

Some people decide to record their wishes to refuse certain treatments in an ‘Advanced Decision to Refuse Treatment’ (ADRT).
If you wish to do this, you will need to complete the form, sign it and have your signature witnessed. Your doctor or nurse will be happy to discuss making an ‘Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment’ with you if you wish.