DNR Facts and Info for Arizonans
If you have created your living will then you likely have done some soul searching and made some difficult decisions. Many adults use a DNR or have decided that if they suffer an illness or health event that renders them unable to breathe on their own or unconscious with a heart that has stopped, they do not wish to be resuscitated. You have that right to refuse any medical treatment or certain kinds of medical treatment.
What IS a DNR?
Emergency squads and any other health providers who are called to assist in the event of a health emergency must provide CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and attempt to resuscitate patients by medically appropriate tactics. Those people who do not wish to be resuscitated must speak with their doctor about whether a medical DNR or Do Not Resuscitate is appropriate to order. When you have this order prepared by your doctor, the order can address the various methods used to revive people such as chest compression, electric heart shock, artificial breathing tubes, and special drugs.
What If I Have Conditions on my DNR?
When you are having the discussion with your doctor, you can discuss if a DNRCC or Do Not Resuscitate but provide “comfort care” during medical emergencies. If you have this, you will receive only care to give you relief and nothing to keep you alive artificially. Many terminally ill patients opt for this version of a DNR.
Another form of a DNR is a DNRCC-Arest order. This order will direct the medical personnel to resuscitate you during a health event. However, if your heart should stop, no attempts will be made to get your heart beating again.
How do I let Emergency Staff Know I Have a DNR?
Often, people who have arrived at these decisions fear their wishes will not be followed because the attending medical personnel will not know a DNR exists. Emergency medical squads will always attempt to discover which medications you are taking before they administer other medicals or procedures. One good place for a DNR is to keep it with your medications so the Emergency personnel will encounter it when they seek your medications. There are other methods to keep medical personnel updated should they arrive at your home. The “Vial of Life” is a cylindrical container sold at pharmacies that can hold your DNR and other pertinent information about your treatment and history. Most people keep this “Vial of Life” in the refrigerator where medical staff know to look for it. other documents in the Vial can be your living will or a note about where to find it. Another known notification is to hang a DNR sign in bold letters on ORANGE paper in a prominent place in your home where emergency staff will see it.
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