Category Archives: Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

Question: I have recently received an ACR audit, and have spoken to others, within my service, who have received audits as well, stating that a DNR patient who has not arrested should be ventilated via BVM. Everyone is under the impression that a DNR patient should not be bagged. I know that I have had previous conversations with SWORBHP educators in which the final word on this subject had been no BVM in the presence of a DNR irregardless of whether then patient was VSA or pre-arrest. A similar question on this issue was previously asked and answered on 1-March-2012 with the resulting answer being "therefore, to answer your question, if a valid DNR form is available, none of these "advanced cardiopulmonary resuscitation" procedures should be initiated, period. The SWORBHP medical directors would suggest that this is independent of whether or not the patient has completely arrested or not". The question now is what is the right thing to do? What we have previously been told is right or what the auditors are now saying we should be doing? Could you please shed some light on the situation because there's once again a lot of confusion surrounding the correct application of the DNR. Thanks.

Question: The DNR confirmation form states the paramedic will not initiate basic or advanced CPR such as, TCP being one of them. From what I understand, until that person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest, they are fair game for treatment. So, if a patient is in a 3rd degree block at 20bpm and they have a DNR, we are pacing this patient?

Also, what do they mean on the DNR confirmation form about palliative care? They say we are to provide care to alleviate pain/discomfort such as - NTG, ASA, benzodiazepine, epi for anaphylaxis, o2, Morphine etc. Is this merely an FYI on how to treat a pre-code patient? Clearly the patient would have to be alive to administer these drugs. Again it is said that the DNR does not come into play unless the patient codes. Why is this on the form?

Question: If a DNR only comes into play once the patient has suffered respiratory or cardiac arrest, why do hospitals use DNR as an excuse to downgrade CTAS or justify putting certain patients as a code 7?

Question: Called to a nursing home for 90 year old male. On scene staff state patient has valid DNR but they are unable to produce it. The crew continues to resuscitate patient as per usual. Enroute to receiving facility, CACC advises the crew that family has phoned in and stated that they have the DNR and they do not want the patient resuscitated. The attendant phones the attending BHP and advises him of the situation. The BHP orders EMS to cease resuscitation efforts on patient. Is this right or wrong?

Question: Patient has a FBAO and a valid DNR (ex. nursing home). Resuscitate or not?

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