“DNR orders vs surgery survival?”

Dr. Saziana Roman,, a surgeon at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut, and his team analyzed patient databases from more than 120 hospitals across the U.S for how patients fared after surgery. To their surprise they found that about 4,000 patients that had signed the do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders did worse after surgery than those that had not signed the agreement.
Results:
1/4 of the DNR patients died in the month following their surgery.
3 times as many as in the comparison group.

  • DNR patients are usually sicker
  • DNR patients also had slightly more complications, such as pneumonia or stroke.

The outcomes depended on the type of surgery.
1/2 of the DNR patients having an exploratory laparotomy(abdominal surgery) died within one month of the surgery, –  one in five of the patients without the order.

“We can now say ‘look, you have a really high chance of dying, do you even want to go through this?'” Roman told Reuters Health, adding that the patient might prefer pain medication such as morphine to surgery.
For thighbone fracture repair or appendectomies, on the other hand, there was no difference between the two patient groups.

Excerpts courtesy of  http://reut.rs/edL3qb

Sample of DNR form

The Prehospital Medical Care Directive form (commonly known as the Do Not Resuscitate or DNR form) is authorized by A.R.S. § 36-3251. The DNR form allows an individual to indicate that he or she does not want to be resuscitated if he or she suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. The form allows an individual to declare that the following resuscitative measures are not to be used: cardiac compression, endotracheal intubation and other advanced airway management, artificial ventilation, defibrillation, administration of advanced cardiac life support drugs and related emergency medical procedures. The DNR form does not authorize the withholding of other medical interventions, such as intravenous fluids, oxygen, or other therapies deemed necessary to provide comfort care or to alleviate pain.

Emergency medical system and hospital emergency department personnel who make a good faith effort to identify the patient and who rely on an apparently genuine DNR form or photocopy of a DNR form on orange paper are immune from liability to the same extent and under the same conditions as prescribed in A.R.S. § 36-3205. If a person has any doubt as to the validity of a DNR form or the medical situation, that person shall proceed with resuscitative efforts as otherwise required by law. Emergency medical system personnel are not required to accept or interpret medical care directives that do not meet the requirements of A.R.S. § 36-3251.

Specifications regarding the DNR form:

  • The DNR form must be printed on an orange background and may be in either letter or wallet size.
  • The DNR form must include the wording mandated by A.R.S. § 36-3251.
  • A person who has a valid DNR form may wear an identifying bracelet on either the wrist or ankle. The bracelet must:
    • Be substantially similar to identification bracelets worn in hospitals;
    • Be on an orange background; and
    • State in bold type:
      • Do Not Resuscitate,
      • Patient’s name, and
      • Patient’s physician.

Free copies of the DNR form may be requested by calling the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services at (602) 364-3150 or via email. To print a free copy of the form, click below. The links below are available in PDF or Word format. In order to download the PDF version, Acrobat Reader™ is required. Please remember that the law requires that the form be on orange paper.
• Letter-size version of the DNR form [PDF 52K] [DOC 22K]
• Wallet-size version of the DNR form [PDF 56K] [DOC 22K]

Resource courtesy of  http://1.usa.gov/gyXg2q

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