The CPR Discussion – Part I

March 2018 – Use facts not fear to help your patients make a CPR decision.

– CPR on TV looks easy and seems to be very successful; unfortunately, in real life, only 1 in 8 patients survive witnessed arrest. Many of the survivors have a reduced functional capacity after resuscitation.

– CPR survival rates are even lower for patients with chronic illness

– CPR survival rates are three times lower for dementia patients than non-dementia patients.

– Patients with advanced cancer have CPR survival rates of less than 1%

Sometimes patients choose CPR/full code because they are afraid DNR means “do nothing”. Reassure them that quality comfort care can always be provided.

Avoid scare tactics detailing the trauma of CPR; if you don’t recommend CPR for a frail patient because you think it will turn a peaceful death into a traumatic death, say that.

Click Here for a helpful patient handout for CPR/DNR decisions that we use at hospice.

For more information contact Dr. Leslie Estep or Dr. Anita Meyer at Hospice of the Northwest,
360-814-5550, or or

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