In the medical world many phrases and words are shortened for convenience. One very important initalism is a DNR order, or Do Not Resuscitate.
Definition: Written instructions from a physician to other health care providers informing them Not to perform procedures to restore normal breathing.
- Electric shock to restart the heart
- mouth-to-mouth breathing and pressure to the chest (CPR)
- breathing tubes to open the airways
- Powerful medications
DNR orders can be written by a doctor after the patient or their family request the documentation. This decision is usually made if the patient is nearing the end of life and will most likely not improve. Physicians go over the pros and cons with the patient to make sure they want the orders implemented. Life saving treatment will be preformed, unless a patient has DNR orders in place. The patient must consent to DNR orders, physicians cannot make the decision for the patient.
Circumstances or illnesses that may involve a DNR order would be, multiple organ failure or cardiac arrest. If a patient receives CPR during one of these situations they may live in sever anguish, making the end of life very difficult.
The DNR order was first described by the American Heart Association(AHA). They acknowledged that various patients who received these life saving techniques were living with pain and suffering afterwards. Documentation for DNR orders were established. More recently the AHA is asking for physicians to refer to DNR as DNAR, Do Not Attempt Resuscitation. They consider it to be easier for the patients and their families to understand.
A patients can include a DNR order in their living will. They can also carry the document as a card in their wallet or wear it as a bracelet. People can feel at ease knowing that their end of life care is being carried out the way they wish.