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Med Intensiva. 2010 Nov;34(8):534-49. doi: 10.1016/j.medin.2010.04.013. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

[Ethics of the cardiopulmonary resuscitation decisions].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Medicina Intensiva, Hospital San Pedro, Logroño, España.


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) must be attempted if indicated, not done if it is not indicated or if the patient does not accept or has previously rejected it and withdrawn it if it is ineffective. If CPR is considered futile, a Do-Not-Resuscitate Order (DNR) will be recorded. This should be made known to all physicians and nurses involved in patient care. It may be appropriate to limit life-sustaining-treatments for patients with severe anoxic encephalopathy, if the possibility of clinical evolution to brain death is ruled out. After CPR it is necessary to inform and support families and then review the process in order to make future improvements. After limitation of vital support, certain type of non-heart-beating-organ donation can be proposed. In order to acquire CPR skills, it is necessary to practice with simulators and, sometimes, with recently deceased, always with the consent of the family. Research on CPR is essential and must be conducted according to ethical rules and legal frameworks.

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