It’s always scary to think of an emergency situation affecting you or someone you love, but the fact of the matter is that as we get older, the risk of having a life-altering health emergency increases. For this reason, some people choose to sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNROs) in the event that they may face a life or death incident.
When emergency personnel is called to a home or a hospital room due to a health emergency, the main rule of thumb is that they will do whatever possible to keep the patient alive. Oftentimes, this means using invasive emergency techniques such as breathing tubes or heart shocks. When someone is in a position of poor health, one of these types of incidents can leave the patient in a worse condition with an extremely poor quality of life, and potentially only living off of tubes and machines. Therefore, some people choose to sign Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNROs), which alert emergency personnel to the fact that this person does not want to be resuscitated if their breathing or heart stops.
What are Do Not Resuscitate Orders?
In the state of Florida, only those with end-stage medical conditions can secure a DNRO, and that patient or the legal representative of the patient must sign it. The DNRO form is form number 1896, and it can be found in many doctors’ offices or on the Florida Department of Health website. It is a canary yellow form that must be completed by either the patient or a legal representative of the patient, and the patient’s physician. It’s important to note that the form must always be on the required yellow paper and is not valid on white or any other color paper. There is a shorter form that can be carried with the patient and is only slightly larger than a Medicare card. The longer form should be kept in a memorable and easily accessible location in the home.
The DNRO is important because it holds instructions for emergency responders who come to the aid of a patient. It tells first responders that the patient does not want to be resuscitated with artificial breathing tubes or undergo CPR or heart shocks. Again, if there is no DNRO, the emergency personnel will work hard to try and save a person’s life.
3 Things to Know About Do Not Resuscitate Orders in Florida
- The state of Florida does not recognize a metal DNR bracelet or necklace, but instead relies on a “patient identification device.” This device is actually a mini version of the DNRO that should be laminated and travel with the patient. This should be visible to any responding emergency personnel.
- If appropriate, you or your loved one may consider if you wish to fill out a DNRO. It’s important to have one if your wishes are to not be resuscitated. The order can be revoked at any time by the patient in a signed statement or even orally.
- If you or a loved one does have a DNRO, make sure that relevant family members and caregivers are aware of the location of the form. It might be helpful to have the form out on a refrigerator or in an easily visible location. If you choose to photocopy the form, it will only be valid if the copy is also on the yellow paper. No white forms of any kind will be considered valid.
Any end-of-life conversations can be extremely difficult, but it is important to voice your wishes and understand the wishes of your loved one. If you do have a loved one who is in need of assistance at home, whether part-time or more long-term care, contact us to learn about our caregiving and nursing services. Sometimes, there is peace-of-mind in simply knowing there is someone there to care for your loved one in times of medical uncertainty. Contact us at 855-Nurse44.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Florida. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://diesmart.com/ibuttons/do-not-resuscitate-dnr/do-not-resuscitate-dnr-florida-2/
(2018, January 28). What Color is Your DNR? Security for Seniors – Peace of Mind For Families.