♦ A CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) directive allows an individual to direct in advance that no one should administer CPR if the individual’s heart or lungs stop working or malfunction.
♦ CPR directives are almost always used by individuals who are seriously or terminally ill or elderly. In these situations, the trauma involved in CPR is likely to do more harm than good, but emergency personnel are obliged to perform CPR unless a CPR directive tells them not to.
♦ A CPR directive is not the same as a DNR order. A DNR order is a doctor’s order made for seriously or terminally ill individuals in healthcare facilities, including nursing homes. The DNR does not require the individual’s consent, and it does not remain in effect if the individual leaves the facility.
♦ A CPR directive must be signed by both the individual (or the individual’s Healthcare Agent or Proxy-by-statute) and his/her physician. Faxes, photocopies, and electronic scans of CPR directives are just as valid as original forms.
♦ CPR directives must be immediately visible to emergency personnel.
For more active folks with CPR directives, a wallet card or special CPR directive bracelet or necklace can be obtained. Contact Award & Sign Connection, www.AwardandSign.com, 303-799-8979, or the MedicAlert Foundation, www.MedicAlert.org, 888-633-4298 for more information.