Outcomes of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Estimation of Healthcare Costs in Potential ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ Cases

Akhwand S. Ahmad, Sayed Mudasser, Muhammad N. Khan, Hafiz N. H. Abdoun


Objectives: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving procedure which may fail if applied unselectively. ‘Do not resuscitate’ (DNR) policies can help avoid futile life-saving attempts among terminally-ill patients. This study aimed to assess CPR outcomes and estimate healthcare costs in potential DNR cases. Methods: This retrospective study was carried out between March and June 2014 and included 50 adult cardiac arrest patients who had undergone CPR at Sultan Qaboos Hospital in Salalah, Oman. Medical records were reviewed and treating teams were consulted to determine DNR eligibility. The outcomes, clinical risk categories and associated healthcare costs of the DNR candidates were assessed. Results: Two-thirds of the potential DNR candidates were ≥60 years old. Eight patients (16%) were in a vegetative state, 39 (78%) had an irreversible terminal illness and 43 (86%) had a low likelihood of successful CPR. Most patients (72%) met multiple criteria for DNR eligibility. According to clinical risk categories, these patients had terminal malignancies (30%), recent massive strokes (16%), end-stage organ failure (30%) or were bed-bound (50%). Initial CPR was unsuccessful in 30 patients (60%); the remaining 20 patients (40%) were initially resuscitated but subsequently died, with 70% dying within 24 hours. These patients were ventilated for an average of 5.6 days, with four patients (20%) requiring >15 days of ventilation. The average healthcare cost per patient was USD $1,958.9. Conclusion: With careful assessment, potential DNR patients can be identified and futile CPR efforts avoided. Institutional DNR policies may help to reduce healthcare costs and improve services.


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation; Medical Futility; Do Not Resuscitate Orders; Persistent Vegetative State; Terminally Ill; Healthcare Costs; Oman.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18295/squmj.2016.16.01.006


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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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