3 Things to Know About “Do Not Resuscitate” Orders

Discussing whether or not you – or the person you’re caring for – wants a “DNR,” or “Do Not Resuscitate”, order, can be a difficult conversation. But, just like a living will, this is an important document. Every adult in your household should have the conversation about DNR orders well before you need to.

When Dawne’s mother had her first serious illness, she already had a DNR in place. This was a huge relief and one less thing for Dawne and her family to be concerned about. Medical issues are stressful enough; it’s best to make any decisions ahead of time whenever possible.

Here’s an important distinction: A living will is NOT a DNR. Ensure that your healthcare providers know if you have a DNR, and that they know the difference between these documents. According to The Washington Post, this confusion is common; a 2016 study in Pennsylvania found that “In 29 cases, patients were resuscitated against their wishes. In two cases, patients weren’t resuscitated despite making it clear they wanted this to happen. The rest of the cases were ‘near misses’ — problems caught before they had a chance to cause permanent harm.”

There are many factors to consider when creating a Do Not Resuscitate order. In the future, we’ll be covering this topic in more detail, but to get you started, here’s a brief overview of three of the most important things to know:Infographic about Do Not Resuscitate ordersWhat about you? Do you (or anyone in your household) have a DNR in place? We’d love to hear your thoughts; feel free to leave a comment or post in our Facebook group.♠

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