Clinical concerns, Regulations

CMS memo emphasizes the need to provide basic life support

In an October 18 memo to state survey agency directors, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS), nursing homes must provide basic life support, including initiation of CPR, to a resident who experiences cardiac arrest (cessation of respirations and/or pulse) in accordance with that resident’s advance directives or in the absence of advance directives or a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. CPR-certified staff must be available at all times.

The memo also states that some facilities have implemented facility-wide no CPR policies. According to CMS, this is not allowed and facilities cannot have these policies.

According to the memo, surveyors should ascertain that facility policies related to emergency response require staff to initiate CPR as appropriate and that records do not reflect instances where CPR was not initiated by staff even though the resident requested CPR or had not formulated advance directives.

This memo is effective immediately.

To read more, click here for the full memo.