Is CPR tried on everyone whose heart and breathing stop?

  • If you are seriously ill and near the end of your life, there may be no benefit in subjecting you to CPR, and your heart and breathing will actually have stopped as a natural part of of your dying process. In these cases, it is more important to keep you pain-free, comfortable and supported. CPR may offer false hope and do more harm than good by not allowing you to die a natural death.
  • If your heart and breathing stops unexpectedly, for example if you have a serious injury or heart attack, unless you and your healthcare team have already put a DNACPR order in place the heathcare team will likely try CPR, if they think there is a chance of recovery.
  • If your breathing and heart stop before you have made a decision on CPR, the doctors looking after you will decide whether to try CPR. They will take account your general health, things you may have already discussed with them, the views of those closest to you and also how likely it is that CPR will succeed.