The survival of patients with not-for-resuscitation orders

Jordan Li, Tuck Yong, Paul Hakendorf, David Ben-Tovim, Campbell Thompson

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Studies have shown higher in-hospital mortality rates in patients with not-for-resuscitation (NFR) decisions. Long-term survival of these patients after their discharge from acute care is largely unknown as is communication of such decisions to primary care givers through letters ordischarge summaries. Aim: To evaluate the in-hospital mortality and postdischarge survival of general medical patients with documented resuscitation decisions as well as the prevalence of these decisions being communicated toprimary health care providers through discharge summaries. Design: Retrospective cross-sectional study. Methods: The medical records of 618 general medical patients admitted to an Australian tertiary referral teaching hospital between January and December 2007 were reviewed to determine the documentation of resuscitation decisions. Mortality rates in-hospital and up to 5 years post-discharge were assessed in relation to the nature of any resuscitation decisions. Communication of these decisions in the discharge summaries was also evaluated. Results: One hundred and thirty-six (22%) patients had resuscitation decisions documented of whom 91 (67%) did not want resuscitation (NFR). For this NFR group, the in-hospital mortality rate was 20%, and their cumulative 1- and 5-year mortality rates were 53 and 85%, respectively. Of the 112 patients with resuscitation decisions who survived to discharge, 104 of them (93%) had discharge summaries completed but only 9 (8.4%)had resuscitation decisions documented in those discharge summaries. Conclusion: Many general medical patients with a documented NFR decision survive beyond 1 year after their index admission. The rate of communication of resuscitation decisions in hospital discharge summaries is low.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)903-907
    Number of pages5
    JournalQJM-An International Journal of Medicine
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


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