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Do Not Resuscitate Order and its Popularity with Seniors

Do Not Resuscitate Order and its Popularity with Seniors

Because of its brutality, most elderly patients prefer not to be resuscitated, and as such, they sign a do not resuscitate order.

A DNR is a medical order written and signed by the doctor. When you get CPR certified you will know that there should be such an option for senior patients. The elderly patient and their caregiver are required to sign the form indicating that in case the patient stops breathing or if their heartbeat ceases, they should not be resuscitated. This order only applies to CPR and does not cover other medications such as administering pain relievers, any other medicine, or adhering to nutrition guidelines. For any other end of life requirements, the patient will be required to sign a different order known as Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST).

When you get CPR certified, it gives scenarios where an elderly patient might be advised to go for DNR. There are two different types of DNR, namely the pre-hospital and hospital DNR. There are also different ways of going about it and even ensuring that it can be done even during an emergency.

Why Would an Elderly Patient Choose DNR?


An elderly patient might decide that they do not want to undergo the brutality of CPR. In this scenario, the patient will be required to sign a form that will ensure their wishes are granted, even when they get into an emergency.

In the absence of a DNR or POLST order, the medical team responding to an emergency is required to do everything within their capacity to attempt to save the patient’s life, including administering CPR.

There is no other way of stopping CPR from being administered to a patient if the DNR form was not signed.

CPR is a Painful Process


Most online CPR training manuals have a section that focuses on the elderly. This is because the question of whether it should be done or not will always come up if the patient is more advanced in age. Some people request to be allowed to stop breathing without any resuscitation attempts.

CPR, as displayed in the media, is very different from the real thing. Movies portray the CPR process as a rosy, quick, and painless process that everyone has to undergo and which always gives a positive outcome. Online CPR training, however, depicts the real nature of CPR, which is very painful, brutal, and with meager survival rates.

Since the elderly patients are given the option of choosing how they want to be treated, the medics must explain to them the pros, cons, and the probability that it will work.

How CPR is Conducted?


CPR is a tough process that is used in cardiac arrest patients to try and shock them back to life. The treatment might look very harmless on TV, but in real life, it is brutal. Imagine having to push down more than 2 inches into the chest with a frequency of more than 100 pushes per minute. The process is meant to force air into the lungs and send an electric shock to the heart to try and force it to beat again.

In case the process is successful, the patient will suffer from physical trauma such as severed ribs, bruised lungs, distortion of the airway, and damage to the internal organs. In the worst-case scenario, internal bleeding may occur.

Pre-Hospital Versus Hospital DNR


DNR forms are issued in hospitals, and they give directions on how a patient should be handled within the hospital if they come in critically ill. There is, however, a different form of DNR used outside the hospital to direct the emergency response team on how to handle the patient before getting them to the hospital. It is essential to understand the difference between these two orders. Some patients may, however, need both of them.

The Process of Obtaining a DNR


The first step is to discuss this alternative with both the elderly patient and the doctor in charge. The doctor will be required to sign the DNR form and remain with a copy for reference. You should ensure that all the details are captured accurately and adequately so that the order is not rejected during an emergency.

Create Awareness of the Existence of the DNR Order


A DNR order can only be implemented if the relevant people are aware of its existence. You will, therefore, need to inform the medical personnel, family members, and caregivers of the patient’s wishes. The written order that is signed by the patient should be displayed in the patient’s room so that anyone attending them can know.

Copies of this order should be in custody of the medical team, emergency response team, and close family members. It should also be displayed in their home at a place where the emergency response team will access in case they need to pick the patient from home.

Also Read - 7 Major Benefits of Preventive Healthcare

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