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Nurses face CPR ethical dilemmas

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Nurses often face ethical dilemmas and anxiety about performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on patients over the age of 85, Norwegian researchers have warned.

They carried out in-depth interviews with 10 nurses.

Participants experienced stress in situations when resuscitation status was not decided for patients they considered should have a “do not attempt resuscitation” order.

They said such orders were “underused and sometimes delayed”.

Five had also been asked by doctors to use “slow codes” – CPR efforts intentionally conducted too slowly for resuscitation to occur, which they said was unethical.

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