Giving CPR during the pandemic: 3 tips

Under usual circumstances, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, is provided to inpatients unless they have a do-not-resuscitate order on file, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed considerations for providing CPR, according to a perspective article published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Three physicians, who authored the article, offered these three recommendations for providing CPR during health crises in the hospital setting:

1. Let patients know about any resource constraints when discussing their care goals and DNR status with them.

2. Do not perform CPR in certain circumstances. For example, if ventilators or critical care beds are not available; if the patient's condition is deteriorating significantly despite receiving critical care; or if the healthcare organization has a severe staffing shortage.

3. Place selective constraints on resuscitation if it ensures healthcare personnel are protected, For example, allowing CPR to be performed only when personnel have put on appropriate protective gear.


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