REPORT: U.S. hospitals consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients

MARCH 25, 2020

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News App offers the following information published by WashingtonPost:

Hospitals on the front lines of the pandemic are engaged in a heated private debate over a calculation few have encountered in their lifetimes — how to weigh the “save at all costs” approach to resuscitating a dying patient against the real danger of exposing doctors and nurses to the contagion of coronavirus.

The conversations are driven by the realization that the risk to staff amid dwindling stores of protective equipment — such as masks, gowns and gloves — may be too great to justify the conventional response when a patient “codes,” and their heart or breathing stops.

The article goes on to state the following:

Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has been discussing a do-not-resuscitate policy for infected patients, regardless of the wishes of the patient or their family members — a wrenching decision to prioritize the lives of the many over the one.

The report large hospital systems such as “Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Geisinger in Pennsylvania and regional Kaiser Permanente networks” have reviewed guidelines, looking at ways to override coronavirus patient or family member wishes” on a case-by-case basis.”

Officials at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, D.C. admit to having similar conversations. For now, they will continue to resuscitate COVID-19 patients with “modified methods,” according to the Post.


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