Report: Majority of COVID Deaths had Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders

According to reports, nearly 90 percent of COVID-19 related deaths had do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders in place when they are admitted...which shows just how severe their pre-existing conditions already were.

Last month, Clinics in Dermatology published a study based on every patient in two New Jersey hospitals who “had or developed COVID-19,” from March 15, 2020 until May 15, 2020.

The report records that 1,270 patients had or developed the illness, with 640 patients dying and 630 surviving. However, of those who died, “570 (89.1 percent)” had a DNR, leaving “70 (10.9 percent) without a DNR order at the time of admission.” In the interest of clarity, the study did not include patients who were given a DNR during the time they were in the hospital.

Of the 630 patients who survived, “180” or 28.6% had a DNR on admission, and “450” or 71.4% did not have one. Furthermore, the study found, “Among the 120 patients without COVID-19 who died during this interval, 110 (91.7 percent) had a DNR order when admitted.”

The study notes that the DNR “is often linked to patients with severe illness, advanced age, poor disease prognosis, and deteriorating health status with impending death.”

Therefore, the high death rate of the patients who already had a DNR proves that the study “indicates that many patients who died in these hospitals were quite ill to begin with.”

Additionally, the study proved that patients who had a DNR, “had significantly higher numbers of comorbidities ([more than] 3 comorbidities) compared to patients with non-DNR status.” In fact, figures collated by the study show that the majority of patients with 2 comorbidities or more had DNR’s in place.

Not unexpectedly, the study found, “Patients with DNR had a poorer survival rate than non-DNR patients.”

Patients with DNR status thus were found to have “higher hazard ratios for risk of death.”

The study also mentioned the important aspect of “failure to rescue phenomenon,” whereby the very existence of a DNR, means that the patient receives less treatment. “A DNR order has been documented to negatively impact the implementation of other treatment modalities,” the report stated. “One explanation for these results is that more patients with a DNR order died because they were not resuscitated.”

“The increased mortality in DNR patients may have resulted from unmeasured severity of illness, transition to comfort care in accordance with a patient’s wishes, or failure to offer more aggressive care, such as a respirator, to patients with a DNR order.”

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