In the setting of a life-threatening medical problem, this simple question can lead to unintended interventions. From the patient perspective, the answer to this question is typically “yes”…without pertinent details, who wouldn’t want everything done when their life is on the line?
In the ICU, it is crucial that medical professionals are equipped to explain to patients and families what “everything” actually means. The potential benefits… but also the associated discomfort and side effects.
Providing detailed information in early discussions allows patients and/or their families to make informed decisions about their medical treatment, including their wishes if their health deteriorates.
Dr. Roger Seheult’s free course Do Not Resuscitate, Do Not Intubate (DNR/DNI) code status provides an overview of the implications and consequences of each code status: full code, partial code, and DNR/DNI. Dr. Seheult explains the importance of discussing the pros and cons of interventions such as CPR, ACLS, shock, intubation and vasopressors. Each code status and intervention is a directive with its own potential benefits, complications, and side effects that should be weighed by the patient and/or their loved ones.
Autonomy is the name of the game.
In the absence of an advance directive, decision-making scenarios in the ICU setting are difficult. Physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals equipped to provide clear information about code status options, can be a critical component in helping patients and their loved ones follow a path that they actually want.
A few reviews from DNR Code Status & Palliative Care in the ICU Setting:
“This topic is so important in our culturally complex world. As new nurses join the ICU we have to continually educate them on this process. Being able to speak to our patients/families in synch with our physicians is so important. This tool will be used to help develop our team’s comprehension of palliative care. THANK YOU!!!”
“Great resource as a pediatric critical care fellow.”
How Can I Learn More?
Understanding DNR Code Status and Palliative Care in the ICU Setting is clearly explained by Dr. Seheult in this free two-part video series available here: https://www.medcram.com/courses/DNR-code.
Who is this course for?
Students and medical professionals in a variety of medical fields. Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, & technicians who seek to better understand DNR status and palliative care in the ICU.