Patient dies in hospital after 'do not resuscitate' form is mistakenly put in his files | Mail Online

This post was authored by Brian Nash and posted to The Eye Opener on February 10th, 2010.

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Well apparently we don’t have a corner on the market for committing malpractice.  This deadly incident -reported on February 7, 2010 – occurred in Derbyshire, which is in the north midlands of England.

What occurred?  I truly can’t recount this any better than the reporter, who wrote the article:

A patient who suffered a heart attack on a hospital ward died because clerical staff had mistakenly inserted a ‘Do Not Attempt Resuscitation’ form into his medical notes.

Peter Clarke was not treated by doctors after going into cardiac arrest as a nurse had spotted the form in his files and, even though it was blank and had not been filled in, told other ward staff he should not be revived.

The blunder emerged at an inquest into the incident at Derby Hospitals NHS Trust, where bosses revealed staff had been ‘routinely’ placing the forms alongside medical records before they had been correctly signed and witnessed by senior doctors.

Before you wind-up having ‘no say’ in whether you get to live or die should catastrophic injury strike, you should consider (a) having a living will/advance directive and (b) at least discussing with your loved ones what you want done by way of medical intervention, if anything, should you wind-up in a state such a coma or a persistent vegetative state – to name just a few. – truly opt for the former but don’t be afraid to engage in the latter.

An order for DNR (do not resuscitate)is an extraordinary measure.   Think clearly and long about your decision, but once made, let it be known.

Last bit of advice:  check what’s on the nursing station desk next to your medical record before you get in bed.

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5 Responses to “Patient dies in hospital after 'do not resuscitate' form is mistakenly put in his files | Mail Online”

  1. DorothyNo Gravatar says:

    This is horrible but is so typical. Many of these “accidents” are not widely publicized for fear of ruining “reputations”. Thanks for sharing this article.

  2. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    My pleasure and thanks for your comment. If you are interested, check out the one I just posted on the man who died sitting in the waiting room of an emergency room in PA and then was robbed after he was dead – still sitting in a chair in the waiting room

  3. What a terrible accident! Do you know if the family is retaliating against this mistake? That’s a life lost because of an error on the staff.

  4. Brian NashNo Gravatar says:

    Therapists Los Angeles – I don’t know. I may try to do a Google Alerts or search and see if anything pops up. If it does, I’ll let you know on an update.

    [Update: since you caught my interest and I had a few minutes, I did try to see if I could find out anything about whether a claim/suit was made/filed and if so, the outcome. I didn't have any luck. In fact, the paper but off any further posting of comments on this piece back in August 2010. Just thought I'd let you know.]

    Hey, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.
    Brian (Nash)

  5. Thanks for the update Brian. Such a shame… I hope the family received some form of justice. I don’t know what I would have done. Suing the hospital would be nice to sleep with at night, but no monetary amount could compare to losing a family member because of this error. Thanks for checking!

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