Are people not allowed to just die anymore?

(62 Posts)
JakeBullet Mon 20-May-13 08:05:46

My gran passed away last night, she was 92, not mobile and had been in a nursing home for the past two years. She has had a urine infection and been confused these past few days and tbh I feel this is a release for her. However, I am less than happy that her final moments were spent being pummelled on the chest by nursing home staff and paramedics.

Please please don't think for one moment I am upset with the people involved, I am not, they do a selfless and wonderful job. However, it seems that protocol now deems you cannot "just die" but efforts must be made to revive you. I am certain that those present were just doing their job but I so wish my Nan had been allowed to slip off without the heroics.

It IS a sudden death because despite the urine infection she had no other issues beyond the normal ones for her since her stroke. The Coroner has had to be informed etc and she had not seen a doctor for some time. I assumed she was on antibiotics but apparently not.

My Nan has wanted to die for a long time, she would not have wanted all the heart pummelling and I am relieved for her that it wasn't successful but so so wish she had just been put back into bed and had her hand held while they contacted the family. As a nurse years ago I don't recall us doing much else (circumstances depending), even for a sudden death when the patient had such underlying health issues as my Nan did. sad

I am probably being unreasonable but just wanted a more peaceful death for her.

pigletmania Mon 20-May-13 08:13:02

Yanbu at all, but I guess staff had to cover teir backs, what if she did want to be revived. Nwadays NHS saff unfrtunately run te risk of being sued if anything goes wrong. If she did not want to be revived than she should have made her wishes known much much earlier whilst cognis mantis.

pigletmania Mon 20-May-13 08:14:21

As family if you knew your Nan did not want to be revived you could have told people involved in her care much earlier instead of on the day

FJL203 Mon 20-May-13 08:14:37

You're not being unreasonable. It's not unusual for people who are alert but suffering terminal illness to give nursing staff the instruction of DNR for this very reason.

I'm very sorry indeed for your loss and wish you peace, strength and the comfort of happier memories.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 20-May-13 08:18:07

I am so sorry for your loss. I have to say that I am surprised that, at her age, they did this. If someone has a terminal illness and they are in a hospice then there is a do not resussitate policy. I suspect if she did not respond to the resuss then she would not have been aware of what was happening to her as she will have already passed.

Flojobunny Mon 20-May-13 08:19:29

Unfortunately if your nan felt that way she should have had a DNR, since she didn't staff have to presume she wanted CPR.
How would I look the other way round "my nan was fit and well except for a uti, staff let her die and did nothing just because she's 92".
So sorry for your loss but it wasn't for you to decide whether she should live or die. If your nan was in a home then there was every chance that a dnr was discussed with her and she chose to be resuscitated.

ssd Mon 20-May-13 08:19:33

totally agree with you Jake

my mum died recently and I can remember her telling me "they keep people alive too long these days"

its not something we want to face, how our loved ones will die. saying to you now you should have thought of that beforehand is rather crass and insensitive to me. I could never broach it with my mum.

I'm sorry for your loss xx

LEMisdisappointed Mon 20-May-13 08:19:43

piglet, that is a little unsympathetic tbh.

sonu678 Mon 20-May-13 08:19:51

I am sorry for your loss.

You arent being unreasonable. What you say makes eminent sense, and is constantly being debated by health professionals. From what I know, the people doing the 'heroic' saving dont want to be doing it either, but protocol seems to dictate it.
A comment I read stays with me. '90 year olds dont arrest, they die'

read the comments on this guys status from the 29th april. Im sorry I dont know how to link directly to it
med reg

pudcat Mon 20-May-13 08:20:53

There is a form that a residents in care/nursing homes and their next of kin can fill in to say that they do not want to be resuscitated. My mum and I have done so. When we talked about it, I asked Mum if she wanted to be brought back. Her reply was "No I bloody well don't".

Flojobunny Mon 20-May-13 08:22:17

But she wasn't terminally ill, she was just old. She deserved the same rights as anyone else to medical attention.

suchashame Mon 20-May-13 08:22:31

This is the reason many peple do living wills in which they outline the circumstances in which a dnr is in place. If it's not then families and doctors have to agree on it but if it is not and she was on a general ward then often resuscitation is done because sadly some people have complained when " common sense " said a person is just reaching the natural end of life.

These days we do have the means to prolong it so much and each persons choice of when we should stop is different. .. hard for hcp to know what individuals want.

pigletmania Mon 20-May-13 08:28:19

LEM I did not mean to be unsympathetic, op I am very sorry for your loss. My nan passed away from terminal cancer in hospital, but I do not think they tried to revive her. Yes as others ave said, just because she was 92 des not mean she wanted to pass on, she did not appear to have a terminal illness so unless she had said she did not want to be revived to the staff tey have to do this as a matter of protocol. I do wish you all te best, at the moment it is still raw for you, time is a great healer smile

I'm a bit surprised that the care home hadn't previously discussed this with the family. My mum died last December, also at the age of 92, and she was allowed to pass away peacefully, even though she didn't have a terminal illness as such. But the care home had discussed this issue a year or so earler, with my mum and also myself, due to her age, and we had all agreed my mum shouldn't be resuscitated.

It meant that in the event, she was allowed to die without any attempts to resuscitate her.

HerrenaHarridan Mon 20-May-13 08:31:46

I'm sorry for your loss, please take comfort from the fact that she will not have been aware of the resus efforts. Her last conscious moments will have been before she needed resus.

While I totally agree with you I also see the other side, imagine how much angrier you would be it she had wanted to be resuscitated and they didn't bother because she was old.
Unless they have specific instruction otherwise they have to assume that resus is expected.

SDeuchars Mon 20-May-13 08:31:46

But, Flojobunny, live is terminal. Old people die. It is normal and natural (but not a reason to go around killing them). I knew an old person (90+) where a doctor insisted on intervention (despite a DNR in place) and the family only discovered after death that she had had cancer (in addition to the heart and kidney issues that were due to the body wearing out and which she had decided a couple of years previously to leave alone). She could have died much more peacefully and in less pain (although a few weeks earlier) if the doctor had obeyed her wishes.

SDeuchars Mon 20-May-13 08:32:17

Sorry, should have said life is terminal.

TweenageAngst Mon 20-May-13 08:50:56

I am sorry to hear of your loss.
Over the very long time I have spent in nursing I have noticed a trend towards intervention as a default position regardless of co-morbidities. The question that is asked is, is the cause of this decline reversible? And in this case it would seem that the cause was infection which, with treatment is reversible.
That being said I think sensible decisions should be made, for example maintaining nutrition and hydration and treatment with antibiotics, things that are generally considered ordinary means of support however should the infection prove overwhelming then not escalating to extraordinary support such as ventilation and ICU and resus would seem sensible.
I believe that it is really important for people to discuss their wishes for end of life care however here in the UK people really, really don't like talking about it.

AngryGnome Mon 20-May-13 08:57:41

I think one of the problems is that whilst we are living longer, we still aren't culturally prepared to deal with what that can mean in terms if talking about the final stages of life and death. I can't imagine having to have the conversations with my parents about dnr etcetc - I had to do it with my nana and it was awful. But it does have to be done. If it is the case the nhs protocols to preserve life are frequently overriding people's wishes for their end-of-life care then clearly there is a problem which needs to be addressed. My nana was not resuscitated, and I have to say that the doctors were very supportive and sensitive in helping her and us come to this decision.

I am so sorry for your loss. Although it sounds trite, try not to linger in your thoughts on her death but rather remember the richness of her life.

JakeBullet Mon 20-May-13 17:59:19

I would like to thank you all f0r taking the time to share your thoughts on this. I have spoke to family and it seems that while my Nan was very clear that she did not want to be resuscitated, the nurse on duty was new and didn't know her. Therefore when she found my Nan collapsed she went into the default position of dialling 999...and rightly so.

They have discussed this with my Nan several times over the past two years and each time she has said "DNR me. I think the nurse, not knowing my Nan did absolutely the right thing and now I have thought it through I feel better about it all.

Ah well, she has been unwell and this is a release for her, will miss her though.

ChaoticTranquility Mon 20-May-13 18:02:30

OP I'm sorry for your loss flowers

memphis83 Mon 20-May-13 18:10:23

We had a DNR order for my gm, we knew she would die. She had pnumonia after being bedridden and unable to communicate for years due to dementia amongst other things. My gf and her 2 carers called the ambulance to check she was gone on a monitor as previously discussed with her gp and they had to stand between my gm and paramedics as they wanted to do cpr on her.
We were relieved when she went, but my poor mum was begging paramedics not to touch her and to take the blame if tey got into trouble, they had called a second paramedic and then they had to stay with us for 2 hours until the undertaker came. Waste of time and nhs resources, her gp is going through investigations out it now but it was distressing as your situation is.
Sorry for your loss.

VeganCow Mon 20-May-13 18:37:02

In my experience, this is unusual, and people ARE allowed to just pass away in the circumstance you described.

hiddenhome Mon 20-May-13 19:06:48

I work as a nurse in a care home and we are legally obliged to attempt resuscitation if the person has no current DNAR or if the collapse is due to a sudden or new event/illness. It is very distressing having to attempt to resus somebody who is very sick and elderly and the paramedics are never very sympathetic to the situation which just makes things worse for the staff.

Sorry for your loss.

hiddenhome Mon 20-May-13 19:09:19

Oh, and we also have to call the police out if we have a sudden death even if the person was suffering from a serious condition sad

Fuckwittery Mon 20-May-13 19:16:01

It is really unfortunate that the nurse didn't check your nan's notes for a DNR, my mum had this written absolutely everywhere for her carers. I am sorry for your loss.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 20-May-13 19:16:22

Sorry for your loss x

My Grandad is 93, he was informed when he moved in to the home that they would rescusitate if necessary.
He decided for himself (and went and filled the forms in himself - and didn't mention it to us until a few weeks later) that he wanted to pass peacefully, and he signed a DNR. All staff are aware of the DNR status.
He is doing well for a man of his age too (only has sight problems that make caring for himself difficult).

ThreeDudesOnABus Mon 20-May-13 19:20:41

YANBU, it's a sorry state of affairs. sad

tudorgirl Mon 20-May-13 19:26:34

I am also a nurse who has worked in care homes, when I first started it was difficult to distinguish who was for resus and who had a dnar in place without trudging through the residents notes. Obviously in an emergency this is impossible.
We did implement a colour code system where a member of staff could identify at a glance if that resident was to be resuscitated.

I hope the home manager will look to improve things.

tudorgirl Mon 20-May-13 19:28:46

Also, yanbu, I am sorry this happened to your gran.

MildredH Mon 20-May-13 19:29:07

OP I'm really sorry for your loss. My lovely grandmar died six weeks ago in similar circumstances but thank goodness there was no resus. I actually don't know how this transpired as I'm not aware that she a DNR but am grateful.

I second what another poster said- she would certainly have been entirely unaware of what happened as her blood pressure would not have been sufficient to adequately maintain circulation to her brain at this point.

As a hospital doctor working with lots of elderly patients I think it's a release at that age- and spares any further loss of quality of life or dignity. Dying in hospital surrounded by strangers also not a nice option.

I also know that even at 32, losing your beloved Grandmar is sad. thanks hope you have happy memories to treasure.

gasman Mon 20-May-13 19:30:21

If you feel strongly about this or have elderly relatives who feel strongly about this then there are a few things you can do to help yourself/ them.

1) Talk about it as a family. Make sure everyone in the family knows

2) Raise the issue of DNAR upon admission to hospital or with primary care givers

Yes, the hcp should think about it but sometimes there is a lot of other stuff going on and it just doesn't get talked about.
Better to let them know early rather than an awkward conversation later.

Patients who are not for resuscitation get the same standard of basic care as everyone else. By saying you don't want to be resuscitated you are not saying you don't want to be treated.

I've just been a long drawn out hospital admission for a loved one. We had talked in advance about end of life (this person did not have cancer). I knew that they did not want to be resuscitated or to go to ITU if they were to deteriorate to that point (a stance I agreed with as I would not have wanted to admit them to my ITU). We discussed this with the treating medical team and the appropriate paper work was completed.

When the inevitable did happen it was reasonably calm and controlled and no heroics were attempted. It was as good an experience as death can be.

Quangle Mon 20-May-13 19:32:43

V sorry about this and of course your feelings are more than reasonable. A friends 91 yo grandmother had her third massive stroke last week and is totally unresponsive.. She is being fed through a tube into her stomach...

Apparently all this has got worse since Shipman. It's a sad state of affairs and in no one's interest. I hope you reach some peace with your nan's death.

Jux Mon 20-May-13 19:39:19

I am sorry for your loss.

I understand how you feel. I would have been horrified if that had happened to my mum, and so would she. She got a Do Not Resuscitate thing attached to her notes and told everyone who was involved in her care (she lived with us, and died in her own bed).

I think that is the only way to avoid the situation you describe. Medical staff have to do what they can otherwise. The more people who know about it, the better.

Meerkatwhiskers Mon 20-May-13 19:49:00

YADNBU. I'm a student nurse and have just had a placement in A&E. My Grandad died on boxing day and had he still been alive i would have insisted he had a DNAR in place (he had heart failure so he was near the end of his life anyway). Luckily he died in his sleep at home so i'm grateful that he had a peaceful death.

Rescusitation, while an immensely necessary part of primary care, is incredibly invasive and brutal and if you've seen a resuscitation attempt then you will realise you would not actually want your loved ones to go through it. It doesn't often have the desired outcome and for an elderly patient can cause a lot of injuries in the process.

With regards to DNAR's, yes they should have checked the notes but sometimes that isn't always done unfortunately. As was in your Gran's case. When someone goes into cardiac arrest, the focus is understandably on dealing with the patient, not looking through the notes to check DNAR status.

We had a patient come in by ambulance in respiratory arrest being given CPR who was from a care home. As soon as he arrived at the hospital it was decided to cease resuscitation and it wasn't until about half an hour later that we found out that he had a DNAR.

yegodsandlittlefishes Mon 20-May-13 19:57:34

An elderly friend of mine had a hard time when his mum died. She was over 100, and had a DNR order in place, but even so, as she just slipped away in her sleep it was deemed 'suspicious' in some way and needing investigation! She had insisted on remaining in her own home, and she had fallen and hurt herself a bit (bruising) and been kept in hospital overnight for observation.
Her family all felt it was her time, and didn't hold the hospital staff responsible in any way, but my friend had to be interviewed over and over by the coroner, police and so on when he just wanted to be left in peace to grieve.

So sad that at such a difficult time they had to go through all that as well. It was something to do with safeguarding after the Harold Shipman murders, apparently.

VestandKnickers Mon 20-May-13 20:02:09

I know exactly what you mean and I agree with you. I am very sorry for your loss. I hope you have many happy memories and can allow yourself to get past the fact that she was not allowed to slip away as she would have wished.

LaGuardia Mon 20-May-13 20:04:00

pigletmania the family DOES NOT have any choice over whether a relative is DNR or not. If the lady in question had chosen that path for her care and end of days, then it would have been on her notes and the staff would have followed her wishes. As it clearly was not on her notes, we can safely assume that she absolutely did want to be resuscitated.

ReindeerBollocks Mon 20-May-13 20:09:34

I am so sorry for your loss Jake. I am also sorry that your nan had to endure that during her last moments.

My mum and I are very open about this, we have discussed what will happen in the future should she become frail (she will hopefully come to live with me) and if she gets ill she wants a DNR - at her request.

We have both seen elderly people in work or personal circumstances which mean that being open is the best way to tackle this. Not talking about the wishes of the elderly with the NOK leads to people having to be resusitated when it's not what the family would want.

The NHS and care homes should also be more proactive in dealing with this with very elderly/ill residents.

sarahtigh Mon 20-May-13 20:10:01

this is sometimes because people well in advance say DNR if I become seriously ill terminally but if it is mot the termoinal illness that is killing them then the DNR might not apply

my friends father had cancer had about 12 months to live and had decided DNR once got to organ failure stage however someone did not quite understand the exact details and while having some treatment in hospital he started to choke on a fishbone or similar at lunch and someone decided the DNR applied to that so he died of choking when actually he was in reasonable health at time well enough to be going abroad to see his children and grandchildren the next week; so details have to be very very careful

however in OP's case it does seem a bit over zealous of the staff

Lilithmoon Mon 20-May-13 20:10:33

LaGuardia in some circumstances the family does have choice over DNR or not. I know this because I have recently signed a DNR document (in consultation with family and carers) on behalf of my mother. She has early onset dementia.
OP I am very sorry for your loss.

elfycat Mon 20-May-13 20:13:34

When my DGMIL was 92 and failing I had a suspicion that she was hours away from dying on Christmas day (she had one of those rallying moments that cause me to go hmmmmmm). As I was a nurse I asked my MIL and SIL to tell me to go out for a walk if she actually died or I would have been obliged to resucitate her. I'm not qualified to allow her to die and she hadn't seen a doctor for a while so it would have been a coroner's moment which I wouldn't want my name anywhere near.

She collapsed the following day and died a couple of days later in hospital with a DNR in place. She had discussed with us that she felt ready to go so while we were sad, we were also glad that she'd had a great day with us all and then slipped away reasonably easily.

OP I'm sorry to hear about your gran, and that you feel her passing could have been easier.

Meerkatwhiskers Mon 20-May-13 20:29:56

Yes family do indeed have a say in DNAR's in some circumstances. Usually in diminished capacity/relative has power of attorney or in terminal illness where it would be distressing to discuss it with the patient. The doctor/medical team can make the decision to implement the DNAR but must discuss it with the family and the patient if appropriate.

A family however, when a person has full capacity is unable to sign the DNAR and the patient should make the decision with their medical team. I think one can also be implemented in an advanced care directive but i'm not 100%.

Fuckwittery Mon 20-May-13 20:33:50

I don't understand why the notes can't be checked for a DNR in a nursing home where there are going to be several members of staff, and easily accessible notes. It would take seconds.
My disabled mum's notes had the DNR on the first page of everything, she'd made it formally in a healthcare power of attorney with two witnesses, and still it wasn't taken very seriously in trying to actually establish her wishes. Luckily she was still conscious then and I was there to speak for her by the time she couldn't speak. sad

ChestyNut Mon 20-May-13 20:54:09

DNR decisions ultimately lay with the senior clinician but ethically should be discussed with the patient or if inappropriate the patients family to gain a view of the patients prior thoughts.
I don't think this is a legal requirement but is best practice.

I agree OP sometimes it seems to be more appropriate to let some one die naturally at the end if their lives.

CPR is very often ineffective and distressing.

Am sure your DGM would have been unaware of anything other than falling asleep.

Wishing you peace thanks

Jux Mon 20-May-13 20:57:04

My mum had something stuck on the front of her notes. The outside. It was the first thing you saw.

Leverette Mon 20-May-13 21:37:22

The care home nurse should have been informed of the resus status of all patients she was responsible for; this is an issue that should be raised with the home. You could ask her GP to look into it if you don't feel up to it yourself. I am sorry for your loss flowers

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 20-May-13 21:49:13

The care home needs to review it's shift handover, the resuscitation status of each person is flagged up at each and every hand over in the setting I work in.

I am sorry for your loss.

Meerkatwhiskers Mon 20-May-13 22:02:03

fuckwittery Yes there are several members of staff but in a rescusitation attempt everybody will be doing something and concentrating on the patient. The notes would probably not be near the patient and kept in an office for confidentiality reasons as otherwise they could be read by visitors etc. Secondly, looking at the notes would not necessarily take a few seconds, especially in the case of a 92 year old. Ideally a DNAR will be on the top of a patients notes so it is the first thing you see.

Also the PP is correct in that although this was a new nurse, she should have been made aware of all her patients DNAR statuses in handover.

MammaTJ Mon 20-May-13 22:37:49

Legally, if she did not have a DNR, DO NOT RECUSITATE, they are legally obliged to do all they can to make her stay alive!!

Sad but true and more what the Liverpool Care Pathway is about than people want to know. They want to think it is a hastening of the end, but it is not it is a not slowing the inevitable. Sorry for your loss.

EatenByZombies Mon 20-May-13 23:55:49

Sorry for your loss thanks

My god she was old though, 92 years is an achievement! smile

Meerkatwhiskers Tue 21-May-13 02:04:59

Sad but true and more what the Liverpool Care Pathway is about than people want to know. They want to think it is a hastening of the end, but it is not it is a not slowing the inevitable.

What???? It's not a hastening of the end but it's a not slowing the inevitable??

Firstly bringing the Liverpool care pathway into the debate is completely irrelevant when we are talking about DNAR's. Secondly your statement makes no sense whatsoever.

ThreeDudesOnABus Tue 21-May-13 05:03:20

It makes perfect sense to me. We have families going to the media talking about the fact their "92 year old cancer-riddled/etc family member was placed on the pathway" - what did they expect? sad

We seem to have lost the ability to come to terms with death - I've witnessed sheer panic and terror at the viewing of a cadaver. Death comes to us all and I think we need a change in mass psyche. It's not uncheatable and I think we also perhaps need to look at the sensibilities of keeping people alive for the sake of it. Medical advancements are wonderful, but they don't need to be applied in each and every situation.

I would be horrified and furious if an ill and frail member of my family was "kept alive" despite DNR's.

JakeBullet Tue 21-May-13 07:33:25

Again I want to thank everyone for their kind words and their comments about this.

My Nan was asked several times over the curse of her stay in the nursing home about resuscitation, each time she clearly said she did not want this. The home is a busy one though and I cant quite clearly see that a nurse who is new might not know everyone well enough to know who is and is not for DNR.

As a family we know she had fantastic care in this nursing home, she was as sharp as a pin and didn't miss anything. She repeatedly told us about being happy there and the Carers and Nurses, she knew all their names and about all their families. She knew all the other residents and all their troubles, I will laugh forever about "the new lady who can't drink from the cups because she has a nose like Punch and can't get it in the cups so has to drink from the side" Nan all over that was grin

Fuckwittery Tue 21-May-13 09:03:32

Your nan sounds like a lovely lady with a real character.
I'm sure your Nan would have wanted the nurse to do her best for her in all the circumstances and it sounds like she was really lucky to be in a lovely place. Hopefully she didn't know or feel anything right at the end.
May she rest in peace, I hope you can enjoy sharing some memories about her with your family over the next few weeks.

Noorny Tue 21-May-13 09:12:50

I used to work as a clinican and one of the main reasons I left the profession was the undignified preservation of life. I specialised in neurosurgery and neuro- critical care. I had to deal with a lot of young people with AIDS induced vasculitis, massive head injuries and devastating intra-cerebral haemorrhages. These people were left in comas and some were given the prognosis of LESS than 1% chance of a meaningful recovery. Were we allowed to switch off machines? Were we hell! They had not met the criteria for brain death. I now have a living will that if I am unfortunate enough to ever find myself in this predicament I am not to receive active treatment and just to have basic pain relief and a dignified death. Treating these poor souls left me with severe clinical depression which disappeared a few days after I quit the job.

shewhowines Tue 21-May-13 09:22:11

I think you should talk to the care home. It's good that you are able to accept it now but it shouldn't have happened if she had DNR on her notes.

I would calmly talk to them about reviewing their procedures so that it doesn't happen again. Someone mentioned a colour code system - perhaps over the door or somewhere discrete but obvious if you know where to look.

Noorny Tue 21-May-13 09:33:04

Even if she is DNR medical staff DO make mistakes. One of my colleagues successfully resuscitated a guy who was DNR once only for him to arrest again 2 days later. Thankfully the second time a decent doctor was on duty and he got to pass away.

hearhear Tue 21-May-13 09:43:14

Your nan sounds like she was a great lady. I love her observation on her fellow resident.

I found Jennifer Worth's book of call the midwife fame very enlightening on just what you are saying. She argues,as others have here, that death has become too abstract for most of us and dnr is often the most appropriate course in very old age, but this is not applied in current medical care. I do so agree with you being so upset that this wasn't applied despite your nan's wishes.

I am so sorry for your loss.

OrlaKiely Tue 21-May-13 09:48:41

Hi Jake,

I'm really sorry. My Granny died last night too. She was in hospital for a couple of weeks and there was a tremendous fuss last week when she was given all these interventions and hooked up to all sorts, and it turned out they had lost her DNR and left it at the other hospital.

Once that was found, things got better...but my parents were in a state trying to get what she needed and wanted - she wanted to die at home but ended up on a noisy ward instead.

It is a minefield and very hard to get it 'right' I think, because it's not the sort of thing you can get good at, it doesn't happen that often to many of us and we're unaware of the protocols and so on.

I do think things should be made less bureaucratic though for the sake of the people who are dying and those close to them.

Rest in peace, both of our lovely old ladies x

littlemisssarcastic Tue 21-May-13 18:05:22

I also found the book by the late Jennifer Worth very interesting reading. I didn't realise that life was preserved at almost any cost to the patient, even when the patient was highly likely to suffer a poor quality of life if resuscitation was successful, unless they had a DNR in place, which staff were aware of in an emergency where resuscitation was required.
The book had some truly heartbreaking stories in there of people whose quality of life was so poor after resuscitation, that even the family members who had originally begged for their loved one to be resuscitated, had realised it would have been kinder if the relative had slipped away. sad

mrsnoodle55 Wed 22-May-13 00:45:09

Unfortunately this situation occurs too frequently; I'm a paramedic and we find ourselves carrying out resuscitation on people who common sense says it's inappropriate. For us not to start a resus depends on strict criteria eg how long since the person was last seen, what is shown on the ecg etc. We are not allowed to look at the person individually, or even to use common sense as everything is timed and ecg printouts required if resuscitation is not started.

Also I think most people think having a conversation with famillies/care staff, or writing their own letter of intent re resuscitation will be ok -unfortunately for us not to start a resus on someone who technically we should do, there has to be an official DNR hard copy in place, on the premises, for us to see. Even DNR's active in hospitals are usually not active once the person is discharged home/care home, and not many people realise they need to get a new one sorted by their own GP.

I hope you have lots of happy memories of your gran and as others have said she wouldnt have been aware of a thing xx

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