Do not resuscitate or DNR orders can be a confusing subject especially for students who are taking CPR training courses or new first aid rescuers since the legislations that cover the topic are complex and tedious. However, the lines or boundaries of these orders are well set for paramedics and EMTs which rescuers can also follow to ensure that providing CPR treatment in a particular case is completely legal. These boundaries represent the conditions that should be met in order for paramedics to carry out the DNR orders. Here are four conditions that define the limitations of administering CPR to a patient.
The DNR is the recent directive from the patient
Before the DNR is carried out, paramedics should ensure that these are the latest or most recent directive from the patient. There are several ways to go about this task. The first is to ask for the patient chart or simply ask the healthcare provider who is in charge of the patient about the time when the DNR order was given by the patient. The other way is to directly as the patient if the DNR order should still be carried out especially in sudden emergency situations.
The healthcare plan specifically excludes CPR
Doctors and other healthcare professionals determine the healthcare plan of a patient hours before they are actually carried out in order to ensure that everything is well thought out and that every intervention in the plan is agreed upon by the patient. If the plan specifically states that CPR should not be informed or if CPR is not listed as one of the interventions, then the DNR order should be honored.
The DNR should still be followed even if the healthcare plan only has the consent of the guardians, parents and other authorized individuals. This usually happens when the patient is not capable of making sound decisions because of a psychological medical condition which prohibits him or her from thinking coherently. However if the patient has already given DNR orders before these medical conditions had their effect, the DNR should be honored even if the representatives want paramedics to perform CPR.
CPR is not of use to the patient
DNR orders should be followed if it is deemed by doctors to be of no use to the patient. There are times wherein CPR will not be able to prolong the life of the patient but can prolong his or her agony. In these situations, physicians may call a DNR which paramedics and rescuers should follow.