A do-not-resuscitate order, or DNR, is a document that tells doctors, nurses and other emergency medical staff what they should not do when a person stops breathing, or when their heart rhythm is life-threatening. It can include instructions on what methods should be avoided to revive someone, such as those listed below:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
    Manual chest pressure and mouth-to-mouth breathing to circulate blood and oxygenate the lungs.
  • Defibrillation
    Giving the heart an electric shock to bring back a normal heart beat.
  • Respirator (breathing tube and machine)
    Used to help with breathing in an unconscious person.
  • Medicine
    Giving medicines to restore an effective heart rate and improve circulation of blood to major organs. The presence of a device does not prevent any measures or complicate treatment that is considered appropriate according to the content of the DNR order.

The decision to have a written DNR should be made by you or your family in consultation with your doctor.

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