S-Space College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원) Cancer Research Institute (암연구소) Journal Papers (저널논문_암연구소)
CPR or DNR? End-of-life decision in Korean cancer patients: a single center's experience
- Oh, Do-Youn; Kim, Jee Hyun; Kim, Dong-Wan; Im, Seock-Ah; Kim, Tae-You; Heo, Dae Seog; Bang, Yung-Jue; Kim, Noe Kyeong
- Issue Date
- Springer Verlag
- Supportive Care in Cancer, Vol.14 No.2, pp.103-108
- Purpose: Whether or not physicians should conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in terminal cancer patients has long been debated. We conducted this prospective observational study to characterize current CPR and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) practice among terminal cancer patients in South Korea. Materials and methods: The study involved patients with terminal cancer who were admitted at the Seoul National University Boramae Hospital for supportive care only, and who died between January 1, 2003 and April 30, 2004. We investigated the practices relating to the DNR directive, i.e., how many days before death was the directive effective, and from whom was it obtained. Results: Of the enrolled 165 patients, 97 were male with a mean age of 65. Median duration of admission to death was 24 days (range 7-207, mean 31.7). The DNR directive was implemented in 143 patients (86.7%). All discussions about DNR took place between physician and family members, except in only one case. DNR directives were enacted at a median of 8.0 days (range 0-79, mean 12.15) before death. For 18 patients, the DNR directive was formally taken on the day of admission. In contrast, 14 cases (9.8%) were agreed on the day of death, 18.8% within 48 h of death, and 46.8% (67 of 143) within 1 week before death, 62% before 10 days, and 71.3% within 2 weeks. The worse the performance status of the patient, the earlier the DNR discussion was issued. Also, the lower the economic and educational status of the family member, the earlier the DNR directive was attained. Of the 165 patients with terminal cancer, CPR was performed in 13 cases (7.9%): in seven cases (4.2%) CPR was requested by a family member, and in six cases arrest occurred before DNR discussion was issued. None of the resuscitated patients survived. Conclusion: In relation to DNR decisions in South Korean cancer patients, proxy decision-making is overwhelming and issuance of DNR discussion is raised at a late stage.
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