• Does a DNAR apply in a choking emergency?

    [Updated: 18/03/2021] – Do Not Attempt Resuscitation orders or a DNAR order, as they are often known, are back in the news again. Also known as a DNACPR we are often asked if ‘a DNAR still applies when someone is choking?

    With the announcement today the CQC findings in a review of their use in adult care settings in response to Covid 19, we thought some guidance for the sector might beneficial.

    There is guidance out there, however it can often be difficult to navigate.

    Coming from multiple sources it is often contradictory, out of date or lacks the appreciation of the sector.

    Published in 2016 guidance for Healthcare Professionals with specific reference to choking in care and nursing homes stated a;

    ‘DNACPR decision does not override clinical judgement in the unlikely event of a reversible cause’

    Can you or your colleagues tell the difference between a choking incident or cardiac arrest when presented with unresponsive resident or other person in your care?

    What do you do in the middle of a choking incident when you suspect a cardiac arrest?

    Without a Dechoker to have you have just a few minutes to provide any sort of first aid response if you are fortunate to be present when the person chokes – and able to do them at all.

    When a person is lying on the floor, blue in the face having just passed out it is not the best time to have a discussion about if a DNAR applies or not.

    If you would like to receive a link to the above document and some more information on choking click here.

    [Adapted from original post on 12/10/2020]