Order to Not Give CPR to Care Home Patients Goes Under Review


The coronavirus pandemic has altered a lot of things people were used to of doing and hearing globally, resuscitation (CPR) when someone needs it was one such thing most of us thought normal to do given an emergency but this life-saving practice however was discouraged in care homes following the pandemic now health regulators are reviewing whether the order is still necessary.

At the beginning of the pandemic in march, such orders were given out by doctors to managers of care homes and were told to be applied to a majority of the residents without due consultation. This means that residents of care homes would not be driven to hospitals if they required life-saving assistance. Thus fears have spread far and wide about whether the order is still in action given the rising coronavirus threat in the UK.

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Care Quality Commission however which is an independent health regulator in the UK will look at these orders and review them for further consideration.

These orders meant that the next of kin or the resident will agree with the doctor that in the chance occurrence that this person’s heart fails, the doctor will not provide CPR.

These blanket orders were supposedly encouraged but it is not yet clearly understood why exactly. They are thought to have been put in place because they feared going through difficult emotional conversations with the large numbers of relatives and patients if they let them know of these notices beforehand. Fearing this, they did not inform them at all.

On October 1st this review was called upon by Lord Bethel in the House of Lords, since then the CQC is busy developing a methodology and scope to go about the task.

The charity acknowledged that it was brought to their notice that since March there had been blanket orders given out to be handed out on patients in different healthcare settings, among which were these orders for CPR.

Usha Grieve is a director of partnerships and information at Compassion in Dying. She acknowledges that while a second wave is fast approaching, problems in action during the first wave should be recognized and therefore learned from. Therefore she is happy about the CQC’s decision to review their DNR use.

She talked about how the pandemic has shaped a pattern of decision-making problems and a lack of communication around DNRs. These she explains have grown without national guidelines and therefore require looking into.

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The charity has revealed also that a lot of people do not understand the orders under DNRPR or DNR. They are oft not even aware whether a DNR decision will do harm or good.

The charity which helps people come to terms with the end of life and teaches them how to talk about it, make plans for it, and keep in recording their wishes.

Dr. Rosie Benneyworth is a chief inspector of medical services at the charity. She welcomes this form of action and thinks a closer look was necessary at what was being reported. In her eyes, it is important that poor caregiving is challenged and therefore repaired for the better.

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