Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
Cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is an emergency treatment used when the heart and/or breathing stops. CPR is performed in an attempt to restart the heart and breathing. It may consist of artificial breathing and it can include pressing on the chest to mimic the heart's function to restart circulation. Electric shocks (referred to as defibrillation) and drugs (also known as inotropes and vasopressors) can also be used to stimulate the heart.
Defibrillation involves sending a powerful electric shock through the heart. It is used when the heart stops beating effectively on its own. If the heart has lost all of its electrical activity or is so damaged that it no longer has enough muscle to pump blood through the body, defibrillation may not be successful in restarting the heart.
For some patients, CPR may be ineffective in restarting the heart and breathing, and may cause more harm or not align with patient wishes. A No-CPR order instructs health care providers to not attempt CPR, defibrillation or insertion of a breathing tube (also known as intubation) in the event of a cardiac arrest (when the heart stops beating) or respiratory arrest (when breathing stops). This decision is made in consultation with the patient or substitute decision-maker(s). A “no resuscitation order” does not mean “do not treat.”