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HOME > Acute Crit Care > Volume 23(2); 2008 > Article
Original Article Do-not-resuscitate Order in Patients, Who Were Deceased in a Medical Intensive Care Unit of an University Hospital in Korea
Kwangha Lee, Hang Jea Jang, Sang Bum Hong, Chae Man Lim, Younsuck Koh

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4266/kjccm.2008.23.2.84
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yskoh@amc.seoul.kr
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BACKGROUND
Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) in the event of a cardiac arrest is the most common and important discussion between a patient's family and physicians among the end-of-life decision-making process. To observe the performance of a DNR order in critically ill patients, we analyzed the incidence of DNR orders, the changes in therapeutic levels after DNR orders, and the cases of violated DNR codes in patients who had died in a Korean medical intensive care unit (ICU) between 1 January 2006 and 30 June 2006.
METHODS
The charts of patients who had died in the medical ICU were retrospectively reviewed.
RESULTS
One hundred two patients were enrolled. The ICU and hospital lengths of stay of the patients were 12.4 +/- 14.0 and 23.2 +/- 21.1 days, respectively. Hematologic malignancy (24.5%) accounted for the most common premorbid diagnosis before ICU admission. Seventy-five patients (73.5%) had DNR orders. The DNR order was suggested by the physician in 96% of the patients. There was no significant difference in the clinical parameters and the performance of a DNR order. Eighty-four percent of the patients with a DNR order had received the order within 3 days death. The withholding of additional therapy or withdrawing of current therapy occurred in 57.3% of the patients. The DNR order was violated in 9 cases (12%).
CONCLUSIONS
DNR orders are well-accepted by the patient's family in the ICU. However, DNR orders are initiated when patient death is imminent.


ACC : Acute and Critical Care