The right thing to do

Code 3 for cardiac arrest.

The address seems familiar. The info, a 95-year-old male, seems familiar. A hysterical woman meets us at the front door. She seems familiar. I think she’s the patient’s daughter.

“Please don’t do anything! He just wants to die!”

Now I’m beginning to remember. We were there the week before, for ALOC. This gentleman had terminal illness, and was in a hospital bed at home. And I specifically made a point to talk to her and her family about getting a DNR. Another woman is doing compressions.

“Did you get the paperwork we talked about?”

“Yes, but it’s not finished yet.”

“I know, I know. Let me make a phone call, and we’ll figure this out, OK? What happened tonight?”

“He was just talking to us and then he stopped. The lady, the home nurse, said he had no pulse and she started doing CPR.”

I absolutely do not want to resuscitate this patient. But, we start anyway. I call medical control, and thankfully a like-minded physician answered and we did not go further than a BVM and some compressions.

“It’s the right thing to do.”

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