CPR Facts

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation is the effort to restart your heart or breathing if they stop, including rescue breaths, chest compressions, electrical shock and medications.
Up to 26 percent of adults who receive CPR in the hospital and live, will leave the hospital alive. For adults who are older, weak and living in a nursing facility, CPR will be successful for 2 percent of individuals. Success means living through CPR and being able to leave the hospital on your own without complications.
Talk about side effects with your doctor before making your decision about CPR. Injuries may occur as a result of CPR being performed like rib and sternal fractures, injury to the heart or great vessels, organ lacerations, flail chest, superficial burns and worsening arrhythmia from the use of a defibrillator.

Also, if you receive CPR outside the hospital, you will need to be transferred to a hospital to receive breathing support from a ventilator and intensive care unit treatment. If you survive CPR, you may return to your current health or you may have a decline in your physical or mental function.

Talk with your doctor about how well CPR would work for you based on your age and health, and what results you should expect.

If you do not want CPR, talk with your doctor about how to document your decision on a medical order. Let your health care team and health care proxy know about your CPR decision.