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Recut: At Some Hospitals, ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Is As Clear As Mud

An empty hospital bed.
Creative Commons/Pixabay
The Leapfrog Group has ranked Kentucky 35th in the nation in hospital safety.

Chances are you've heard of a "do not resuscitate" order, or what is often simply called a "DNR." It's a written directive that lets hospital staff know that in the event a patient's heart or pulse stops, the patient does not want advanced CPR — which in a hospital usually means inserting a breathing tube, administering medication to help restart the heart, and doing chest compressions. There could be many reasons someone would choose to have a DNR order; many times, elderly and terminally ill patients have them.

It seems pretty clear-cut but studies show that some hospitals are misinterpreting DNR orders and applying the directive before patients actually die. WFPL health reporter Lisa Gillespie spoke to a Kentucky woman who experienced this and Lisa joins us today on Recut.

Like what you hear? We do it twice a week! Every episode of Recut takes a closer look at a story we’re covering in the WFPL newsroom. Subscribe on  iTunes or  Android, and let us know what you think at  recut@wfpl.org.

Jonese Franklin

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