Background: The ethical principle of justice demands that resources be distributed equally and based on evidence. Guidelines regarding forgoing of CPR are unavailable and there is large variance in the reported rates of attempted CPR in in-hospital cardiac arrest. The main objective of this work was to study whether local culture and physician preferences may affect spur-of-the-moment decisions in unexpected in-hospital cardiac arrest.
Methods: Cross sectional questionnaire survey conducted among a convenience sample of physicians that likely comprise code team members in their country (Indonesia, Israel and Mexico). The questionnaire included details regarding respondent demographics and training, personal value judgments and preferences as well as professional experience regarding CPR and forgoing of resuscitation.
Results: Of the 675 questionnaires distributed, 617 (91.4%) were completed and returned. Country of practice and level of knowledge about resuscitation were strongly associated with avoiding CPR performance. Mexican physicians were almost twicemore likely to forgo CPR than their Israeli and Indonesian/Malaysian counterparts [OR1.84 (95% CI 1.03, 3.26), p = 0.038]. Mexican responders also placed greater emphasison personal and patient quality of life (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, degree of religiosity was most strongly associated with willingness to forgo CPR; orthodox respondents were more than twice more likely to report having forgone CPR for apatient they do not know than secular and observant respondents, regardless of the country of practice [OR 2.12 (95%CI 1.30, 3.46), p = 0.003].
Conclusions: In unexpected in-hospital cardiac arrest the decision to perform or withhold CPR may be affected by physician knowledge and local culture as well as personal preferences. Physician CPR training should include information regarding predictors of patient outcome at as well as emphasis on differentiating between patient and personal preferences in an emergency.
Purpose: To investigate how a terminal illness may affect the health-care providers’ resuscitation preferences.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 9 health-care institutions located in 4 geographical regions in North and Central America, investigating attitudes toward end-of-life practices in health-care providers. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics and 2 test for the presence of associations (P < 0.05 being significant) and Cramer V for the strength of the association. The main outcome measured the correlation between the respondents’ present code status and their preference for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case of terminal illness.
Results: A total of 852 surveys were completed. Among the respondents, 21% (n = 180) were physicians, 36.9% (n = 317) were nurses, 10.5% (n = 90) were medical students, and 265 participants were other staff members of the institutions. Most respondents (58.3%; n = 500) desired “definitely full code” (physicians 73.2%; n = 131), only 13.8% of the respondents (physicians 8.33%; n = 15) desired “definitely no code” or “partial support,” and 20.9% of the respondents (n = 179; among physicians 18.4%; n = 33) had never considered their code status. There was an association between current code status and resuscitation preference in case of terminal illness (P < .001), but this association was overall quite weak (Cramer V = 0.180). Subgroup analysis revealed no association between current code status and terminal illness code preference among physicians (P = .290) and nurses (P = .316), whereupon other hospital workers were more consistent (P < .01, Cramer V = .291).
Conclusion: Doctors and nurses have different end-of-life preferences than other hospital workers. Their desire to undergo CPR may change when facing a terminal illness.