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New provincial DNR form to help patients, emergency personnel

by Chris Daponte

BRUCEDALE

Recent steps taken by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care should make decisions easier for emergency personnel re­sponding to calls involving ill or elderly patients who do not want to be resuscitated.
A new do not resuscitate (DNR) form, available as of Feb. 1, is the first of its kind to be recognized by firefighters and paramedics.
Guelph-Eramosa Deputy Fire Chief Lyle told council last week the new form will make things easier for patients and their families, as well as emergency personnel.
“This has been an ongoing issue between the paramedics and us for some time,” Quan said, adding that in the past some forms were recognized by paramedics but not by firefighters, and vice versa.
According to an information bulletin from the Ontario Fire Marshall, the up to date DNR form will “significantly enhance a first responder’s ability to honour the wishes of patients and their families ... [and] minimize any chance of error and reduce the risk of liability to paramedics and firefighters.”
The new form is being welcomed by emergency officials across the province.
“It’s a very emotional time for everybody and this is a step forward I think,” Quan said. He noted that, historically, there has been a problem, in particular with elderly people spending their last days at home.
“I think it’s a welcome thing for the families as well,” Quan added.
The Ministry of Health will be providing the new forms to all health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing hom­es, which are all aware the new form is the only one now recognized by both fire and ambulance personnel.
Quan told council emergen­cy services “are presently fami­liarizing themselves and training on the new policy and its expectations.”
Councillor Reta Moyer, who said her daughter works in palliative care, thinks the new form is a great idea to help ad­dress a difficult issue.
Mayor Chris White called the new form “excellent,” and said he hopes it helps.
The rest of council agreed.

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