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Expert advice

DNACPR notices: patients’ rights and when consent is needed

What nurses and other healthcare staff need to know about valid notices, and when patients and families should be involved in decisions about future resuscitation

What nurses and other healthcare staff need to know about valid notices, and when patients and families should be involved in decisions about future resuscitation

What do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) notices are and how they are made is an area where some misunderstanding and confusion persists.

A DNACPR notice is a document that advises healthcare professionals not to attempt CPR. It is issued and signed by the most senior clinician in charge of the person’s care, which is usually a doctor but can be a senior nurse.

Attempting to ascertain the patient’s wishes

Resuscitation decisions sit within advance – or anticipatory – care planning. The notice describes a decision made in advance of an event by the

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