Nurse lifts lid on "despicable" DNR practice in hospitals during Covid-19 peak

24 August 2020, 16:15

By Seán Hickey

This nurse revealed that hospitals across the country were issuing do not resuscitate notices to simply cope during the height of the pandemic.

Shelagh Fogarty was told that "the biggest problem which resulted in all these DNRs being issued was because hospitals couldn't cope," during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark, a nurse in Herndon told her that doctors were pressuring families who didn't have medical know-how to sign DNRs for their relatives.

This comes as a new report has shown that care homes pushed do not resuscitate policies during the height of the pandemic.

He explained that the policy was to keep ICUs clear for young people that might survive Covid-19 and in doing so, when a doctor dealt with an elderly patient they would "convince the family," to sign a DNR "and move them out of intensive care."

Shelagh was in disbelief, arguing that the claims were "plain sinister." Mark agreed, and told her that "without the family contribution, all of this is disgusting, it's despicable."

This nurse told Shelagh that it was common practice in hospitals during the pandemic to "convince" families to sign DNRs
This nurse told Shelagh that it was common practice in hospitals during the pandemic to "convince" families to sign DNRs. Picture: PA

"When it comes to a DNR," he went on, "when you speak up and you say something about it, you are told 'you're a nurse, you don't know what you're talking about'"

Mark told Shelagh he had spoken up himself against the practice, but found he was not being called to work in the hospitals he reported to.

"You can make your feelings known," the nurse concluded, but warned that "not only will you not get another shift in that hospital again, they will make your life very very difficult."

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