If Your Heart Were to Stop: Characterization and Comparison of Code Status Orders in Adult Patients Admitted with COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

J Palliat Med. 2021 Dec 30. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2021.0486. Online ahead of print.


Aim: Our aim is to characterize code status documentation for patients hospitalized with novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) during the first peak of the pandemic, when prognosis, resource availability, and provider safety were uncertain. Methods: This retrospective cohort study was performed at a single tertiary academic medical center. Adult patients admitted between March 1, 2020 and October 31, 2020 who tested positive for COVID-19 were included. Demographic and hospital outcome data were collected. Code status orders during this admission and prior admissions were trended. Data were analyzed with multivariable analysis to identify predictors of code status choice. Results: A total of 720 patients were included. The majority (70%) were full code and 12% were in do-not-attempt resuscitation (DNAR) status on admission; by discharge, 20% were DNAR. Age (p < 0.001), time in the intensive care unit (ICU) (p < 0.001), and having Medicaid (p = 0.04) compared to private insurance were predictors of DNAR. Fourteen percent had no code status order. Older age (p < 0.001), time in the ICU (p = 0.01), and admission to a teaching service (p < 0.001) were associated with having an order. Of patients with a prior admission (n = 227), 33.5% previously had no code status order and 44.5% had a different code status for their COVID-19 admission. Of those with a change, most transitioned to less aggressive resuscitation preferences. Conclusions: Most patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in our study elected to be full code. Almost half of patients with prepandemic admissions had a different code status during their COVID-19 admission, with a trend toward less aggressive resuscitation preference.

PMID:34967678 | DOI:10.1089/jpm.2021.0486

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