ADV-Lesson 3- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR, is an emergency procedure that combines chest compression with respiratory ventilation to manually preserve intact brain function until the animal reaches emergency veterinary care or the animal revives, referred to as ROSC or return to spontaneous circulation. CPR needs to begin within 10 minutes after becoming unresponsive.

After 10 minutes, irreversible damage to tissues and organs begins reducing the likelihood of a successful resuscitation attempt. Injury to the patient from performing CPR is rare, however risks such as rib fractures (1.6%), Muscle damage (14%) and Chest pain (11.7%) can occur.[3]

The following chart shows the three levels of resuscitation:



Do not resuscitate


Closed chest CPR only


Open chest CPR is approved by owner**

**Open chest resuscitation is usually only offered at large emergency centers or local referral centers. Some indications for open chest CPR include: Large /giant breed barrel chested dogs, pleural specie disease, pericardial disease, patient in which closed check CPR has been unsuccessful and current abdominal surgery. Open chest resuscitation requires a large amount of aftercare including surgery to close the animal’s chest. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian before choosing this option. 

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