Undoubtedly, choosing a hospice for a loved one can be a tough yet important decision. While the vast majority of hospice providers have a similar philosophy of care, each hospice provider is different in some significant way. Therefore, it is important to conduct research and ask questions when choosing hospice care that will best meet the needs of the loved one. One common question that arises is whether Hospice and DNR status will cause a conflict.
If you need help determining if hospice is the right choice, feel free to
call us at (702) 509-5276 or contact us online.
Does Hospice Require a DNR Order?
While most hospice providers don’t require a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order before admitting a patient, some hospice providers do. Any hospice that is Medicare-certified will not ask for a DNR order as long as both the patient and the family understand that the patient will receive palliative rather than curative care. Demanding DNR orders from hospice patients only lengthens hospital stays and delays referrals for hospice.
Physicians who are reluctant to discuss advance directive choices rely on hospice in order to get a DNR order. Hospice staff will often work with the patient and the family to decide when the best time is to sign a DNR order.
How Can Hospice and DNR Status Not Be Cause for Confliction?
External chest compression and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation are what most people imagine when it comes to CPR. However, thanks to advances in medicine, physicians are able to rely on more aggressive options to bring an individual back to life. Some of these options include administration of medication directly into the heart, electric shock with paddles on the chest, ventilators, and open chest heart massage. A hospice patient has accepted to give up on these more aggressive options. However, a hospice patient does not need to sign a DNR, which means they can still receive CPR. Therefore, hospice does not necessarily conflict with DNR status.
What Is a Full Code Hospice Patient?
Full code is defined as a hospital designation that indicates healthcare providers should intercede if the heart of patient stops beating or the patient stops breathing. The hospital has complete authority to try and stop the death of a patient under full code. Therefore, a full code hospice patient is an individual who has chosen full code as an advance directive choice.
A person is automatically a full code patient when he or she enters the hospital unless the patient or the family of the patient requests otherwise. A full code patient can allow only some types of treatments in a near-death situation. For example, they may accept resuscitation but not intubation. The opposite of full code is DNR or Do Not Intubate (DNI).
How Is a DNR Applied If a Patient Is Under Hospice Care?
Unless a DNR order is present, an EMT will perform CPR on a patient if necessary. A DNR order only covers CPR. If a patient wishes to refuse other forms of treatment like antibiotics, intravenous fluids, and artificial nutrition or hydration, the patient needs to discuss this with a physician separately.
In the last few months of life, hospice can be one of the best options for a loved one. Understandably, the process of choosing a hospice provider for a loved one can be difficult and confusing. While it may appear that Hospice and DNR status may cause a confliction, the truth is that DNR status has little impact on eligibility for hospice.
To assist in your process in finding the best hospice care for your loved one, download a free copy of our home hospice care guide by clicking the image below. We also welcome you to contact our offices today at 702-509-5276 for more information.