NICE, the UK’s National Institute of Care and Excellence has published guidelines for dealing with Covid19 patients. Part of the guidelines state:
“Sensitively discuss a possible ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ decision with all adults with capacity and an assessment suggestive of increased frailty (for example, a CFS score of 5 or more).”
Dr. Vernon Coleman, a former doctor with the UK’s National Health Service, speaks about this at length in the important video above.
CFS refers to a “frailty scale” health care professionals are instructed to use when recommending a “Do Not Resuscitate” form be signed. The frailty scale ranges from 1 – “perfectly healthy” to 9 – “terminally ill.”
But a frailty score of 5 denotes a patient that is “mildly frail.” The description of someone who is mildly frail is listed by NICE is as follows:
“These people often have more evident slowing, and need help in high order IADLs(finances, transportation, heavy housework, medications). Typically, mild frailty progressively impairs shopping and walking outside alone, meal preparation and housework.”
The definition encompasses a wide number of people who may need a little extra help but who are otherwise healthy.
Such occurrences are increasing both in frequency as some terminally ill patients have been instructed to sign DNR’s and told that they will not be admitted to hospitals in the event they become seriously ill. But they’re also increasing in scope as Individuals with learning disabilities are being forced to sign DNR’s in unprecedented numbers, often illegally.
The trend is also spreading to the United States. We’ve detailed nurse Erin Marie Olszewski, an Iraqi-war vet who came to New York City to work when the coronavirus pandemic first broke out. She spoke at length about having to challenge an unofficial DNR order that was given regarding one of her patients who was 37 years old.