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NMC & RCN Provide Guidance on Nursing Decisions Relating to CPR

The Nursing & Midwifery Council alongside the Royal College of Nursing has provided guidance on nurses making decisions around CPR.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training

The Nursing & Midwifery Council alongside the Royal College of Nursing has provided guidance on Nursing decisions around CPR.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) have released new guidance for Nurses following recent publicity relating to fitness to practise cases regarding resuscitation (CPR).

Clear new guidance was developed jointly in 2016 by the Resuscitation Council, BMA and RCN called ‘Decisions relating to cardiopulmonary resuscitation’.

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.”

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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.

The NMC goes on to explain that 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.

Finally they call upon health and care provider organisations to have appropriate evidence-based policies in place, and be able to provide the appropriate education and training for nurses working in an environment in which they may encounter death or cardiac arrests.