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Overview: Queensland Health Acute Resuscitation Plan (ARP)

An Acute Resuscitation Plan (ARP) is a clinical form completed by a medical officer and can be used in all Queensland Health adult facilities. The ARP guides conversations between medical officers, adult patients and their families about appropriate resuscitation planning, such as whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be performed.

The ARP:

  • addresses the complex clinical, ethical and legal framework which guides medical treatment of an adult at the end of life
  • records details about a patient's capacity to make healthcare decisions
  • replaces 'not for resuscitation' (NFR) orders
  • ensures that appropriate discussions, including the prognosis and management of the patient's treatment and care in the event of a cardiac or respiratory arrest, occur between a patient's doctor and:
    • the patient if they have capacity; or
    • the patient's substitute decision-maker(s), if the patient does not have capacity
  • ensures that end-of-life discussions are documented in a patient's medical record, including:
    • resuscitation choices of the patient if they have capacity; or
    • the patient's views and wishes, through their substitute decision-maker(s), if the patient does not have capacity
  • enables documentation of patient's preferences relating to psychosocial factors, such as living arrangements, spiritual and cultural support
  • follows a logical and consistent decision-making pathway
  • is placed prominently in a patient's medical record which, along with its colour scheme, makes it easily accessible when a clinical decision is required, including in an emergency
  • should not be relied upon as valid consent to undertake healthcare.

If considered appropriate for a patient, conversations should include:

  • the patient's prognosis
  • their views and wishes
  • treatment and care options
  • who would make decisions for them if they could no longer make decisions for themselves.

The ARP is acted on according to the instructions on the form and provides clinical authority for members of the healthcare team in the event the patient experiences a cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Queensland Health staff have access to these clinical forms internally.

Last updated: 30 August 2016