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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

DNR order

12/18/2008

Question:

My mom is 64, has been in and out of hospital, on and off ventilator for several years. Every year she gets pneumonia and has been intubated for the maximum permitted time in the hospital. Each time she seems to come back from it, but not stronger, weaker. Last night the ICU doctor asked me if we had DNR signed. Over the years my mom has said she was going to sign it but never did. While she hates being hospitalized and intubated, she still said she wanted to live. I am in such distress as my only son died on April 1st of this year. I do not know if I should leave Mom on for 7 days and then see.... It is not like she is in a coma right now, she is just highly medicated and sleeping, but she always wakes up from these. I dont know what to do or who to turn to. My mom and my son are my only family.

Answer:

Thank you for visiting NetWellness. We are very sorry to hear of your mother's situation. You may find it useful to speak to the social worker of the unit your mom is a patient on. Also, pastoral care may be of help in these discussions. It sounds like hospice may also be indicated.

For more information:

Go to the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN Gerene S Bauldoff, RN, PhD, FCCP, FAACVPR, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University