No CPR allowed!

I have gone to many scenes where I am dispatched for a full arrest where I find a dead patient with no CPR or very inadequate CPR being done. I have heard of many reasons why no CPR was started. I distinctly remember a patient I encountered while off duty who was surrounded by family when he went into cardiac arrest and no one started CPR. After I began chest compressions I asked the patient’s brother to give mouth to mouth ventilations and one by one the family refused. (I don’t know if they knew something I didn’t so I continued with compressions only, I didn’t have a shield.)
Even with all of that I was very surprised to learn that there are nursing facilities that as per policy are not allowed to administer CPR. I came upon this article via medicmadness and don’t know what to think.
Part of me understands the whole follow policy so you don’t get blamed aspect. Another part of me doesn’t understand how a policy like this could ever make it onto the books. Have any of you heard of anything like it?
Here is the link to the story: Medicmadness No CPR for you

  1. Hello? Listen to the 911 call. The patient was BREATHING. The operator overreacted, and then the media blew the story out of all proportion. The dead woman’s daughter (also a nurse) holds the facility blameless and says they acted correctly!

    I think the issue isn’t only about the policies in Independent Living communities vs. Assisted or Skilled Nursing. To me the big picture is whether It’s moral to put your loved ones into bankruptcy for three months of non-responsive “life” in the ICU. It’s a good idea have the conversation about DNRs, but you know the positive results of CPR on people over 80 with cardiac event hx are quite limited.

    • Very well said, fact is I have not listened to the audio and completely understand what possible survival rates of elderly patients receiving CPR are. (Minimal as to be near nonexistent)

      I still tend to have a problem where there is a policy in place specifically stating no CPR to be done. I recently went to an assisted living location that as per policy has to call ems when a patient mentions any pain to the chest. Even if the patient is saying he doesn’t want ems involved, even of the patient is talking about a recent onset of shingles and is asking for help finding his ointment.

      It would have been funny if I had asked her and she said they have to call ems for that ( seemingly an over protective policy) but can’t do any CPR if the patient dies.

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