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Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) - Carers UK Forum

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

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About five years ago, maybe a little more, my mum had a DNR notice put on her medical records because she didn't want to be resuscitated if her heart failed or if she stopped breathing. Mum now has vascular dementia but still wants this to remain on her records.
She is in a care home and they prefer to get a doctor to come and see the residents about this and discuss the ramifications. The problem is either they or me have the wrong end of the stick.
The doctor told my mum yesterday that if she fell ill then having a DNR meant the home wouldn't call an ambulance or help her themselves, they would let her die!
I am 99.99999999% sure this is wrong but I now have to
a) go and see the doctor and go through the procedure again
b) calm my mother down!
c) explain to her what it does actually mean.
My mum doesn't want to be ignored she just doesn't want to be pulled back at the end so before I go and see the doctor tomorrow I wanted to be sure I had it right.
Any comments greatly appreciated
Tracy
A quick Google reveals this to be the common definition of DNR on a number of websites:

"Do not resuscitate (DNR), or no code, is a legal order written either in the hospital or on a legal form to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), in respect of the wishes of a patient in case their heart were to stop or they were to stop breathing."

I would therefore assume that for any other illness or accident (eg. fall, UTI, appendicitis etc. etc.), then the care home would be obliged to call out her GP or an ambulance.

Pennie
I think you are right- I think it refers to attempting CPR only.
I have a client with a DNR on his file but he has recently been admitted to hospital a couple of times and had surgery for a tumor so every attempt is being made to help him despite being very poorly.
Ladies thank you. The care home agrees with you and me, it's the doctor who has it wrong which isn't reassuring! I'm off to see him tomorrow!
Again thank you for such speedy replies.
Tracy
From what I understand (which may be wrong!), even with a DNR in place, the medics will still pump you full of antibiotics if you need them medically. Many very elderly people are repeatedly 'pulled back from the brink' on multiple occasions and kept alive with ABs. In times past, pneumonia was often known as 'the old man's friend'.

It may be possible to do something like an advance directive that can stop ABs being administered 'automatically' to you in what has become a life-critical infection.

However, once you cease to have mental capacity, the time for ADs is past.

It's a sad and difficult aspect of 'near end of life' medical situations. And a moral minefield!
I think what Jenny is referring to is commonly known as a "living will". AgeUK have a factsheet about it.

Pennie
Yes, doctor is wrong. Almost all the residents at my mum's care home had DNR notices but the ambulances were always there, taking people to hospital and indeed frequent use of antibiotics.