End of Life Patient

Sharing patient information can ensure dignity at the end of life

What happened?

A Bolton patient was being cared for at home during the end of their life. It was the patient’s wishes to die at home and he had requested that should he die suddenly or suffer cardiac arrest that resuscitation was not attempted. These final wishes formed the basis of a statement of intent and a DNACPR which was in place to provide immediate guidance to those caring for the patient.

On the 28 April 2016 the patient passed away. The patient’s niece was with him and following his death she rang the doctor’s surgery to seek advice on what to do next. The surgery told the niece to dial 999.

On receiving the emergency call the ambulance service advised the niece to put the patient on the floor and begin cardiac massage. The niece then rang the district nurse who went straight to the house to support the family.

When the district nurse arrived at the patient’s home she found the fire service were on the premises and performing cardiac resuscitation*. The fire service had not been informed of the patient’s DNACPR.

The paramedics arrived and the family showed them the statement of intent and the patient was pronounced dead. The paramedics then rang the police.

With the Bolton Care Record in place

In this scenario the district nurse should have been phoned first. Understandably people panic when a loved one dies. The Bolton Care Record will provide health and social care professionals directly involved in your care access to the most up-to-date information about you. When the emergency services were called they would have access to the patients care record and be able to see the DNCAPR in place. The sharing of information would have ensured dignity in death and lessened the impact on the family of a very difficult situation.

*In the case of a sudden death the first emergency response vehicle available will attend the scene.

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