Identifying high-risk surgical patients: A study of older adults whose code status changed to Do-Not-Resuscitate.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of data on older adults (age ≥65 years) undergoing surgery who had an inpatient do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, and the association between timing of DNR order and outcomes. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of 1976 older adults in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program geriatric-specific database (2014-2018). Patients were stratified by institution of a DNR order during their surgical admission ("new-DNR" vs. "no-DNR"), and matched by age (±3 years), frailty score (range: 0-1), and procedure. The main outcome of interest was occurrence of death or hospice transition (DoH) ≤30 postoperative days; this was analyzed using bivariate and multivariable methods. RESULTS: One in 36 older adults had a new-DNR order. After matching, there were 988 new-DNR and 988 no-DNR patients. Median age and frailty score were 82 years and 0.2, respectively. Most underwent orthopedic (47.6%), general (37.6%), and vascular procedures (8.4%). Overall DoH rate ≤30 days was 44.4% for new-DNR versus 4.0% for no-DNR patients (p < 0.001). DoH rate for patients who had DNR orders placed in the preoperative, day of surgery, and postoperative setting was 16.7%, 23.3%, and 64.6%, respectively (p < 0.001). In multivariable analysis, compared to no-DNR patients, those with a new-DNR order had a 28-fold higher adjusted odds of DoH (odds ratio [OR] 28.1, 95% confidence interval: 13.0-60.1, p < 0.001); however, odds were 10-fold lower if the DNR order was placed preoperatively (OR: 5.8, p = 0.003) versus postoperatively (OR: 52.9, p < 0.001). Traditional markers of poor postoperative outcomes such as American Society of Anesthesiologists class and emergency surgery were not independently associated with DoH. CONCLUSIONS: An inpatient DNR order was associated with risk of DoH independent of traditional markers of poor surgical outcomes. Further research is needed to understand factors leading to a DNR order that may aid early recognition of high-risk older adults undergoing surgery.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kazaure, HS; Truong, T; Kuchibhatla, M; Lagoo-Deenadayalan, S; Wren, SM; Johnson, KS

Published Date

  • December 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 69 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 3445 - 3456

PubMed ID

  • 34331702

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8909704

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5415

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jgs.17391


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States