Cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) may be defined as a sudden cessation of functioning
effective ventilation and effective circulation (Robello & Crowe, 1989). Table 23.1 summarises the clinical features of a CPA.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) refers
to the course of action taken to restore ventilation and circulation to vital tissues.
Cerebro-cardiovascular resuscitation is a newer term which emphasises the importance
of preserving cerebral function. The survival rate for CPR in a dog or cat following
'true' cardiopulmonary arrest is poor and ranges from S to 20% (Crowe, 1988).
CPA may occur acutely, usually due to a single
devastating factor, or chronically with a multifactorial cause.
CPR is not usually performed in animals in
which death is associated with end-stage disease or is expected and likely to be
unsuccessful. CPR is usually performed when CPA is unexpected and the life-threatening
process leading to the arrest is considered to be reversible.