Deciding About CPR & Code Status: What You Need to Know

Code 1

Code 1 means that if your heart stops, 911 will be called and all measures will be used to try to revive you, including:

  • CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), which means pushing on your chest to try to circulate your blood
  • Shocking your heart to try to get it re-started
  • Medication
  • Putting a tube in your throat if necessary so a machine can breathe for you

You will then need to be hospitalized for follow-up care. Since this is considered aggressive treatment for an individual receiving hospice care, your family or representative would want to call hospice and discuss your options, which may include either revoking the hospice benefit coverage or paying privately for the aggressive treatment.

If your representative chooses to revoke hospice services for you, this would allow the possibility of your treatment (ambulance, CPR, hospitalization, etc.) being covered under your regular health care benefit plan.

Code 2

Code 2 means that if your heart stops, no heroic measures will be used. Hospice of the Red River Valley will be called to make sure your needs are taken care of. You will receive treatment for pain or other symptoms, and if your heart does not start again on its own, death will occur naturally.

Things to Consider

When CPR is performed on an individual whose heart has stopped, it is successful only 15 percent of the time.

For individuals who are unable to live alone, have multiple medical problems or have a terminal illness, the survival rate after CPR is used is less than 2 percent.

Everyone is considered to be Code 1 until a physician signs an order stating that you wish to be Code 2. This form is available from Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Your hospice nurse and social worker are available to answer any questions that you and your family may have about code status.