If a person codes at Walmart..

  1. And they do not have their POLST form on them, will the EMS listen to the next of kin, say patient's spouse? If she knows the patient's wishes?
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  2. Visit Vtachy1 profile page

    About Vtachy1

    Joined: Dec '08; Posts: 464; Likes: 289
    BNAT instructor; from US
    Specialty: 25 year(s) of experience in BNAT instructor, ICU, Hospice,triage

    46 Comments

  3. by   BostonFNP
    I doubt it. Legally that would be a huge risk, how would you prove that person is the HCP?

    Ethically, there is a debate there.
  4. by   Vtachy1
    Yes, if they code me and I don't happen to have my POLST Form on me, then I will sue for assault and battery!! Do Not Resuscitate me under any circumstances. I worked 13 years in ICU I do not want to me coded.
  5. by   burnrn85
    When I worked EMS, we coded unless there was without a doubt proof of a DNR or unless there were signs of death where resuscitation would be futile (ie rigor). If the DNR listed a specific person as a medical POA, then that person's verbal instruction over ruled the DNR. In my experience, the family usually encouraged resuscitation.
  6. by   TraumaSurfer
    You or your DPOA could try to sue but it won't go far. The laws are very clear in all the states about this. Even in ICU we don't stop a code unless the IDENTIFIED DPOA and/or doctors agree. You should know from work experience that getting family to agree is difficult and someone is always willing to sue another family member or staff for any outcome.

    A Paramedic is not a doctor and must abide by the laws of the state or in some places the county. They can contact med control but treatment should not be delayed if paprwork is not available while they are calling.
  7. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    Have you considered a DNR tattoo or bracelet?
  8. by   MomRN0913
    Quote from Vtachy1
    Yes, if they code me and I don't happen to have my POLST Form on me, then I will sue for assault and battery!! Do Not Resuscitate me under any circumstances. I worked 13 years in ICU I do not want to me coded.
    I'm confused. How are the EMS supposed to know?!? You would have no grounds to sue.

    And if you have worked ICU for 13 years, surely you are well aware of how family goes against pt's wishes, so a random EMS worker is supposed to let someone die because someone said not to?

    I am all for DNR, but in those situations, you have no grounds to sue and if they didn't do CPR, they would be help very very liable.
  9. by   TraumaSurfer
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    Have you considered a DNR tattoo or bracelet?
    Most states want a signed form. Anyone can get a DNR tatoo...even your child if old enough.

    There are a couple of companies which do issue bracelets and have a copy of the DNR scannec. But this might take ahile to verify or have access for the download.
  10. by   MomRN0913
    Quote from TraumaSurfer
    Most states want a signed form. Anyone can get a DNR tatoo...even your child if old enough.

    There are a couple of companies which do issue bracelets and have a copy of the DNR scannec. But this might take ahile to verify or have access for the download.
    Yup, a DNR tattoo is no good. A DNR needs to physician signed.

    If you feel that adamantly and think you might drop dead in Walmart, you better be carrying that DNR on you and visible at all times
  11. by   Vtachy1
    Quote from MomRN0913
    I'm confused. How are the EMS supposed to know?!? You would have no grounds to sue.

    And if you have worked ICU for 13 years, surely you are well aware of how family goes against pt's wishes, so a random EMS worker is supposed to let someone die because someone said not to?

    I am all for DNR, but in those situations, you have no grounds to sue and if they didn't do CPR, they would be help very very liable.

    It is so very wrong for them not to listen to the next of kin who would make decisions if I were unable to make the decisions. Why wouldn't they listen to my next of kin if we happen to not have the POLST paper or MPOA papers with me? We always listened to the next of kin whenenver they were unable to make decisions in the old days. I just can't believe they would code me if my next of kin was telling them not to. Of course my family knows not to call 911 in the first place. But say one of my hospice patients is at Walmart and the doc still has not signed the DNR. Why can't the paramedics listen to the next of kin? Its so unfair to code someone who does not want to be coded.
  12. by   MomRN0913
    There is no proof of who they are. Legally they can't. They don't know the cashier from your husband when called on an emergency response. In a hospital you can't listen to the next of kin unless there is a doctors order.

    It's the way it is.

    Think about it for a second.
  13. by   Vtachy1
    Why would someone lie about that? The paramedics really think that some stranger is going to come up out of the blue and say that they are my spouse? It sounds ridiculous.
  14. by   Vtachy1
    Our social worker suggested a bracelet. Is that legal/will the paramedics honor this, until the doctor gets the paper back to the patient? It would be so much easier if EMS would listen to the people that know me and know what my wishes are. At least call my doctor if there is a doubt for Pete's sake!!!

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