What Is a Do Not Resuscitate Order?

Hospice Care in Roseville CA

Hospice Care in Roseville CA

End-of-life decisions are complicated and there are some big preferences that have to be considered when families are having these conversations. These conversations are often not easy to have, but they are essential, especially when it comes to medical directives. One important piece of end-of-life conversations is something called the Do Not Resuscitate order, or DNR. It’s important to understand what a DNR is and how it works with services like hospice care.

What Is a Do Not Resuscitate Order?

A Do Not Resuscitate order is a medical directive that lets healthcare providers know that the person who has the DNR order does not want to be resuscitated in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest. That means that they don’t want CPR, including chest compressions, ventilation, or defibrillation. The purpose of a DNR order is to reduce unnecessary suffering, particularly for patients who might suffer from neurological damage or other health complications because of CPR and other means of resuscitation.

Why DNR Orders Are Important

DNR orders are legally binding documents. Healthcare providers are obligated to follow DNR orders when they are in effect. These documents often also include instructions about not just CPR, but also other life-sustaining measures like mechanical ventilation, intubation, and more. These types of medical directives are typically used when people have advanced illnesses and are facing terminal conditions. In those cases, CPR and its benefits are not usually likely to offer significant improvement.

DNR Orders and Hospice Care

What this means is usually that DNR orders are common in hospice care settings. These directives offer a way to respect individual wishes, which is incredibly important when someone is facing a terminal illness. DNR orders offer a way for hospice providers to enhance comfort for their patients. Knowing that they won’t be resuscitated against their wishes can be really vital in helping patients facing the end of life to have the peace of mind that they need.

Putting a DNR Order in Place in Hospice

Establishing a DNR order means first talking with doctors and other medical providers. They help to ensure that everyone involved understands the options and implications of putting a DNR order in place. Then the senior’s wishes are documented in full so that there are no misunderstandings. That documentation is added to the person’s medical records and then the DNR order is communicated to other medical providers, including hospice providers. DNR orders can be changed if and when needs and wishes change. They are not set in stone at all. Periodically reviewing DNR orders is a good idea in order to ensure that they are still accurate and necessary.

Do Not Resuscitate orders offer another way for hospice elder care providers to ensure that they are fully meeting the needs of their patients. Hospice is all about respecting individual choices and ensuring that patients are as comfortable as possible. DNR orders help to ensure that patient wishes are fully documented and understood by everyone involved in that person’s care.

If you are considering hospice care in Roseville, CA, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at PIC Comfort Care today. Call (530) 885-9948.

Shaun Clinkinbeard
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