KEY POINTS

  • The policy refers to the doctors telling the health care providers to not perform CPR
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago is considering the policy for patients
  • George Washington University Hospital is also considering it, however, the hospital, for now, has modified resuscitation procedures for infected patients

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, hospitals in the United States are considering do-not-resuscitate orders for all the patients infected with COVID-19. The hospitals are citing that their staff is at high risk of getting exposed to the deadly virus as there is a low supply of protective equipment like masks and gloves.

The policy refers to doctors telling health care providers to not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restore the work of the heart and lungs when the patient stops breathing.

One such hospital is Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. The hospital is considering the policy for patients.

“It’s a major concern for everyone. This is something about which we have had lots of communication with families, and I think they are very aware of the grave circumstances,” Richard Wunderink, one of Northwestern’s intensive-care medical directors, told the Washington Post, adding that the hospital administrators will speak to Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker and ask him to clarify if state law would allow the changes in policy.

George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. is also considering it, however, the hospital for now has modified resuscitation procedures for infected patients. This includes placing plastic sheeting over the patient “to create a barrier.”

The University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle is dealing with the problem in a different way. It has limited the number of staff responding to a contagious patient needing resuscitation.