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      The Outcome of Patients With 2 Different Protocols of Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders : An Observational Cohort Study

      , MD, MPH, PhD, , MS, PhD, , MD, , MA, MD, , MD, PhD, , MD


      Wolters Kluwer Health

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          Lack of clarity about the exact clinical implications of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) has caused confusion that has been addressed repeatedly in the literature. To provide improved understanding about the portability of DNR and the medical care provided to DNR patients, the state of Ohio passed a Do-Not-Resuscitate Law in 1998, which clearly pointed out 2 different protocols of do-not-resuscitate: DNR comfort care (DNRCC) and DNR comfort care arrest (DNRCC-Arrest). The objective of this study was to examine the outcome of patients with the 2 different protocols of DNR orders.

          This is a retrospective observational study conducted in a medical intensive care unit (MICU) in a hospital located in Northeast Ohio. The medical records of the initial admissions to the MICU during data collection period were concurrently and retrospectively reviewed. The association between 2 variables was examined using Chi-squared test or Student's t-test. The outcome of DNRCC, DNRCC-Arrest, and No-DNR patients were compared using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

          The total of 188 DNRCC-Arrest, 88 DNRCC, and 2051 No-DNR patients were included in this study. Compared with the No-DNR patients, the DNRCC (odds ratio = 20.77, P < 0.01) and DNRCC-Arrest (odds ratio = 3.69, P < 0.01) patients were more likely to die in the MICU. Furthermore, the odds of dying during MICU stay for DNRCC patients were 7.85 times significantly higher than that for DNRCC-Arrest patients (odds ratio = 7.85, P < 0.01).

          Given Do-Not-Resuscitate Law in Ohio, we examined the outcome of the 2 different protocols of DNR orders, and to compare with the conventional DNR orders. Similar to conventional DNR, DNDCC and DNRCC-Arrest were both associated with the increased risk of death. Patients with DNRCC were more likely to be associated with increased risk of death than those with DNRCC-Arrest.

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          Most cited references 16

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          APACHE II: a severity of disease classification system.

          This paper presents the form and validation results of APACHE II, a severity of disease classification system. APACHE II uses a point score based upon initial values of 12 routine physiologic measurements, age, and previous health status to provide a general measure of severity of disease. An increasing score (range 0 to 71) was closely correlated with the subsequent risk of hospital death for 5815 intensive care admissions from 13 hospitals. This relationship was also found for many common diseases. When APACHE II scores are combined with an accurate description of disease, they can prognostically stratify acutely ill patients and assist investigators comparing the success of new or differing forms of therapy. This scoring index can be used to evaluate the use of hospital resources and compare the efficacy of intensive care in different hospitals or over time.
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            Inappropriate use of bivariable analysis to screen risk factors for use in multivariable analysis.

            The use of bivariable selection (BVS) for selecting variables to be used in multivariable analysis is inappropriate despite its common usage in medical sciences. In BVS, if the statistical p value of a risk factor in bivariable analysis is greater than an arbitrary value (often p = 0.05), then this factor will not be allowed to compete for inclusion in multivariable analysis. This type of variable selection is inappropriate because the BVS method wrongly rejects potentially important variables when the relationship between an outcome and a risk factor is confounded by any confounder and when this confounder is not properly controlled. This article uses both hypothetical and actual data to show how a nonsignificant risk factor in bivariable analysis may actually be a significant risk factor in multivariable analysis if confounding is properly controlled. Furthermore, problems resulting from the automated forward and stepwise modeling with or without the presence of confounding are also addressed. To avoid these improper procedures and deficiencies, alternatives in performing multivariable analysis, including advantages and disadvantages of the BVS method and automated stepwise modeling, are reviewed and discussed.
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              Hospital usage of early do-not-resuscitate orders and outcome after intracerebral hemorrhage.

              Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders are commonly used after severe stroke. We hypothesized that there is significant variability in how these orders are applied after intracerebral hemorrhage and that this influences outcome. From a database of all admissions to nonfederal hospitals in California, discharge abstracts were obtained for all patients with a primary diagnosis of intracerebral hemorrhage who were admitted through the emergency department during 1999 and 2000. Characteristics included whether DNR orders were written within the first 24 hours of hospitalization. Case-mix-adjusted hospital DNR use was calculated for each hospital by comparing the actual number of DNR cases with the number predicted from a multivariable model. Outcome (in-hospital death) was evaluated in a separate multivariable model adjusted for individual and hospital characteristics. A total of 8233 patients were treated in 234 hospitals. The percentage of patients with DNR orders varied from 0% to 70% across hospitals. Being treated in a hospital that used DNR orders 10% more often than another hospital with a similar case mix increased a patient's odds of dying during hospitalization by 13% (P<0.001). Patients treated in the quartile of hospitals with the highest adjusted DNR use were more likely to die, and this was not just because of individual patient DNR status. In-hospital mortality after intracerebral hemorrhage is significantly influenced by the rate at which treating hospitals use DNR orders, even after adjusting for case mix. This is not due solely to individual patient DNR status, but rather some other aspect of overall care.

                Author and article information

                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Medicine (Baltimore)
                Wolters Kluwer Health
                October 2015
                23 October 2015
                : 94
                : 42
                From the Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Bioethics, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Department of Medical Education, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan (Y-YC, T-SC); Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing (NHG); Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine at MetroHealth Medical CenterCleveland, OH, USA (AFC); Department of Community Health Services; Department of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada (AG); and Department of Bioethics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH, USA (SJY).
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Tzong-Shinn Chu, Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Bioethics, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Department of Medical Education, National Taiwan University Hospital, No.1, Rd. Ren-Ai sec. 1, Chong-Cheng District, Taipei 100, Taiwan (e-mail: tschu@ ).
                Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives License 4.0, which allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author.

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