2017 joint NMC/RCN statement regarding Decisions Relating to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
Published on 21 June 2017
Statement on CPR decisions
In March 2020, we published a new statement to reiterate and augment our position regarding CPR decisions.
Following recent publicity relating to fitness to practise cases regarding resuscitation we felt it was important to clarify the current position. Clear new guidance was developed jointly in 2016 by the Resuscitation Council, BMA and RCN called ‘Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation’. The NMC is supportive of this guidance.
While the guidance recommends that: "Where no explicit decision about CPR has been considered and recorded in advance there should be an initial presumption in favour of CPR", the guidance clarified: “ ‘…an initial presumption in favour of CPR’ …does not mean indiscriminate application of CPR that is of no benefit and not in a person’s best interests.”
Section 8 of the guidance states that: "…there will be cases where healthcare professionals discover patients with features of irreversible death – for example, rigor mortis. In such circumstances, any healthcare professional who makes a carefully considered decision not to start CPR should be supported by their senior colleagues, employers and professional bodies."
All registered nurses and midwives must uphold the standards in the Code which include always practising in line with the best available evidence and keeping their knowledge and skills up to date.
It is the duty of health and care provider organisations to have appropriate evidence based policies in place, and to provide the appropriate education and training for nurses working in an environment in which they may encounter death or cardiac arrest.
Other recent news…
Published on 01 August 2022
We have published the second phase of our Ambitious for Change research.
Published on 28 July 2022
Just over halfway through the consultation on our English language requirements, we’ve received more than 31,000 responses – a record number for any NMC consult
Published on 26 July 2022
We’ve published our review of the past year, detailing our work to promote and uphold the highest professional standards in nursing and midwifery.