Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients with Partial Do Not Resuscitate Orders in a Large Community Hospital.

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Characteristics and Outcomes of Patients with Partial Do Not Resuscitate Orders in a Large Community Hospital.

Cureus. 2019 Nov 01;11(11):e6048

Authors: Rafiq A, Ullah W, Naglak M, Schneider D

Background Formal writing of do not resuscitate (DNR) orders first appeared in the literature in the late 20th century. Recently, providers have also noticed the presence of partial DNR orders while caring for patients. We sought to determine the effect of these orders on the clinical outcomes of the patients. Methods The study was a retrospective chart review covering a period of approximately 30 months. Patients included in the study were over 18 years of age and had a partial DNR order (i.e., chemical code, do not defibrillate (DND), do not intubate (DNI), intubate only, no cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)) entered during hospitalization. Primary medical problems were categorized by organ system and the outcome was stated in terms of their disposition and mortality. Results A total of 71,143 code orders were entered during the study period, with partial DNR orders accounting for 1.8% of these orders (chemical code 2%, DND 0.8%, DNI 48%, intubate only 38%, and no CPR 10%). About 38% of all patients were discharged to home, 32% were discharged to a facility, and 11% were discharged on hospice. More than half of the patients did not have a palliative care consult. Of all the patients having partial code orders, about 150 patients had a rapid response team called on them and five patients had a cardiac arrest with a code blue activated on them. The mortality of these patients was significantly higher than other patients possibly due to confusing code orders. Surprisingly, a higher percentage of patients (19%) with a mean age significantly lower (p < 0.001) than discharged patients had inpatient mortality.  Conclusion Our study demonstrates the first reported prevalence of partial DNR orders in the general inpatient population and its possible detrimental effects on the patient clinical course. This study offers several opportunities for quality improvement, such as developing prompts for the healthcare team to involve palliative care services more often for such patients.

PMID: 31819835 [PubMed]

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