Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) - integrated adult policy: guidance

Guidance on decision making and communications policy in relation to the NHSScotland Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) policy.


CPR measures include external chest compression, artificial respiration and defibrillation. These measures are normally instituted by local staff, and should precipitate an emergency call and other active resuscitation measures. CPR is instituted immediately and in full following an unexpected collapse where pulse and respiration have stopped if there is a realistic expectation of its being successful in achieving sustainable life. The likely outcome of a medically successful CPR attempt is admission to an intensive care area or unit in order that the restoration of circulation and breathing can be sustained and monitored.

CPR measures do not include analgesia, antibiotics, drugs for symptom control, feeding or hydration (by any route), investigation and treatment of a reversible condition, seizure control, suction, or treatment for choking. Where an unexpected deterioration occurs it is assumed that staff would initiate a rapid assessment so that appropriate treatment measures and comfort measures can be instituted after assessment, consultation with the patient and relevant others, and on the basis of individualised clinical need, irrespective of whether a DNACPR form is present or not.

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