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Nurses face CPR ethical dilemmas

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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