Resuscitation Orders

Resuscitation Status Orders (aka Code Status) let the healthcare team know what type of medical care patients would or would not like to receive while they are in the hospital. These are orders given by a doctor and are NOT the same as Advance Directives. Orders must be renewed each time patients are admitted into the this hospital. These orders do not follow a person to another facility such as nursing home or rehab, and must be re-addressed once at the new location. These orders can be changed at any time. Types of this order include language like Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) or Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) or Allow Natural Death (AND).
At AHN we have four distinct code status orders.

  1. Full Code: means there are no limitations in the types of treatments that may be used, including CPR, intubation and other forms of life support, surgery, etc. if indicated.
  2. DNAR/Total Scope of Treatment: means the only limitation in the types of treatments that may be used in patient care is CPR. Any other indicated devices or treatments may still be used other than of CPR. Should a patient’s heart stop, he/she/they would be allowed to die peacefully.
  3. DNAR/Limited Scope of Treatment: means there are limitations in the types of treatments that may be used. CPR and intubation with mechanical ventilation will not be used. Should a patient’s heart stop and/or they struggling to breathe on their own, they would be allowed to die peacefully. Additional limitation can also be added, like no dialysis or no permanent feeding tube.
  4. DNAR/Comfort Care: meaning only care that provides a comfort benefit is provided. Any signs or symptoms of distress are aggressively treated. CPR, intubation and other forms of life support that are intended to prolong life are not provided or are discontinued.

Legal decision makers

Each state has laws detailing who can make decisions that could impact end of life. In Georgia, if a patient is determined to have medical decision-making capacity (MDMC), he/she/they make these decisions. If a physician does not feel a patient has MDMC, the following persons become decision makers in the following order of priority: healthcare agent (aka durable power of attorney for healthcare), spouse, adult child(ren), parent (s), adult sibling(s).