A do-not-resuscitate order, or DNR, is a document that tells doctors, nurses and other emergency medical staff what not to 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.
Giving the heart an electric shock to bring back a normal heartbeat.
- Respirator (breathing tube and machine)
Used to help with breathing in an unconscious person.
Giving medicines to restore an effective heart rate and improve circulation of blood to major organs. The presence of a device doesn’t 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 and your family in consultation with your doctor.