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When To Stop Performing CPR?

Last Updated on: July 9, 2024

Table of content(s)

  1. When to stop performing CPR?
  2. When should you stop performing CPR?
  3. Post CPR Care & Support
  4. Why is CPR training important for proper decision making?
  5. Conclusion


CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a lifesaving skill that can mean the difference between life and death. This skill is equally important in all spheres, even outside the medical arena. Knowing how to administer the skills is important, but it is equally important to know when to stop CPR.

Continuing CPR in certain situations can sustain vital functions until professional help arrives. But there are also specific scenarios when it is advised to stop performing CPR. To master this skill, it is important to know the key indicators before stopping CPR administration.

In this blog, we will walk you through the indications and best practices that will help you make the right decision of when to stop CPR. Whether you are a healthcare provider or just a bystander, this article will help you confidently in emergencies. So let’s begin!


When should you stop performing CPR?

In an emergency, performing CPR can be crucial in keeping someone alive until professional medical help arrives. However, knowing when to stop CPR is just as important to ensure the best possible outcomes. Here are the key situations in which you should stop performing CPR:

  • Professional Help Arrives: Stop performing CPR when trained emergency medical personnel or other healthcare providers take over.
  • Signs of Life: If the person shows signs of life, such as breathing or movement, stop CPR and monitor their condition until help arrives.
  • Exhaustion: If you become physically exhausted and are unable to continue, it’s important to stop and seek assistance if possible.
  • Unsafe Scene: If the environment becomes unsafe for you or the victim, prioritize safety and stop CPR.
  • Directive from a Medical Professional: Follow any direct orders from a medical professional to stop CPR, whether over the phone or in person.
  • Valid Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order: If there is a valid DNR order, respect the legal and ethical guidelines and cease CPR efforts.


Post CPR Care and Support

After performing CPR, it’s crucial to provide appropriate post-care and support to the individual and those involved in the rescue efforts. Here are some important considerations for post-CPR care and support:

  • Monitoring Vital Signs: Continue to monitor the individual’s vital signs, such as breathing and pulse, until professional medical help arrives.
  • Positioning: Place the person in a comfortable position, preferably on their side, to maintain an open airway and prevent aspiration.
  • Comfort and Reassurance: Offer reassurance and comfort to the individual and any bystanders involved in the rescue efforts. Assure them that help is on the way and that they’ve done their best.
  • Emotional Support: Be mindful of the emotional impact of the situation on everyone involved. Provide support and encourage debriefing if needed.
  • Seeking Professional Help: Once professional medical help arrives, provide them with all relevant information about the CPR performed, including the duration and any challenges encountered.
  • Follow-Up Care: Encourage the individual to seek follow-up medical care, even if they seem to have recovered fully. Some underlying conditions may require further evaluation and treatment.
  • Self-Care for Rescuers: Remind rescuers to take care of themselves emotionally and physically after the intense experience of performing CPR. Encourage rest, hydration, and seek support if needed.
  • Community Resources: Provide information about local support groups or counseling services for both the individual and rescuers to access if necessary.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to CPR Certification for Non-Medical Professionals


Why is CPR training important for proper decision making?

CPR training helps bystanders make confident decisions in critical moments. Here’s why CPR training is crucial for proper decision-making:

  • Effective Techniques: Through CPR training, individuals learn the proper techniques for chest compressions, rescue breaths, and defibrillator use. This ensures that their actions are effective in sustaining vital functions until professional help arrives.
  • Confidence and Preparedness: Training instills confidence in individuals. This motivates them to remain calm and focused during emergencies.
  • Understanding Risks and Limitations: CPR training provides an understanding of the risks and limitations associated. This helps them make informed decisions about when to initiate, continue, or stop CPR. The decision is based on the victim’s condition and circumstances.

Read More: Be Prepared for the Unexpected: Why CPR Certification is Essential for Everyone?



You cannot master lifesaving skills without knowing when to stop CPR. It is as important as knowing when to initiate it. By understanding the signs of cessation, individuals can ensure that their efforts are effective and humane. CPR training teaches the art of proper decision making.

By acquiring this training you get a clear understanding of the victim’s best interest. So if you are still unclear about CPR guidelines and when to start or stop performing it, you can sign up for a CPR training class. These courses will help you maximize the chances of positive outcomes while respecting the dignity of the individual receiving care.

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