Thursday, May 13, 2021
HomeCovid-19 has ‘shone a light’ on Do Not Resuscitate orders – charity

Covid-19 has ‘shone a light’ on Do Not Resuscitate orders – charity


The coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on how poor communication surrounding do not resuscitate orders can cause “significant distress” to people and their loved ones, a charity has said.

A new report from the charity Compassion in Dying lays bare how some people found out they had a do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) order – also sometimes referred to as DNR orders – in place by accident.

One person described finding the documentation in a suitcase after returning home from a stint in hospital.

Another only discovered her husband had the order in place when a health worker left documents on her sofa.

When I returned home from hospital my wife found a DNR form in my suitcase.

And a grieving daughter only found out a DNACPR had been placed on her mother hours before her death.

The report, shared with the PA news agency, has been published to coincide with a report from the health watchdog, the Care Quality Commission on DNACPRs during the early part of the pandemic.

Their report highlights how many people died without their loved ones by their side and without the opportunity to be involved with decisions about their own care and treatment.

Compassion in Dying said that it received a sharp rise in calls about DNACPRs last year.

The charity said that the overwhelming majority of people wanted to find out how they could refuse CPR and make documented plans on how they wanted end of life care to be.

But it also received “concerning reports” of blanket DNACPRs being applied to groups of people with “poor communication”.

The authors said that these examples highlighted existing problems of a “lack of clarity” on DNACPRs and “insensitive communication” by health workers.


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