The timing of do-not-resuscitate orders and hospital costs.
The relation between the timing of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and the cost of medical care is not well understood. This prospective observational study compares hospital costs and length of stay of 265 terminally ill patients with admission DNR orders, delayed DNR orders (occurring after 24 hours), or no DNR orders (full code). Patients whose orders remained full code throughout a hospital stay had similar lengths of stay, total hospital costs, and daily costs as patients with admission DNR orders. Patients with delayed DNR orders, by contrast, had a greater mortality, longer length of stay, and higher total costs than full code or admission DNR patients, but similar daily costs. The causes of delay in DNR orders and the associated higher costs are a matter for future research.
De Jonge, KE; Sulmasy, DP; Gold, KG; Epstein, A; Harper, MG; Eisenberg, JM; Schulman, KA
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