Discordant Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Code Status at Death

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4 Scopus citations


Context: One fundamental way to honor patient autonomy is to establish and enact their wishes for end-of-life care. Limited research exists regarding adherence with code status. Objectives: This study aimed to characterize cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) attempts discordant with documented code status at the time of death in the U.S. and to elucidate potential contributing factors. Methods: The Cerner Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) outcomes database, which includes 237 U.S. hospitals that collect manually abstracted data from all critical care patients, was queried for adults admitted to intensive care units with a documented code status at the time of death from January 2008 to December 2016. The primary outcome was discordant CPR at death. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to identify patient-level and hospital-level associated factors after adjustment for age, hospital, and illness severity (APACHE III score). Results: A total of 21,537 patients from 56 hospitals were included. Of patients with a do-not-resuscitate code status, 149 (0.8%) received CPR at death, and associated factors included black race, higher APACHE III score, or treatment in small or nonteaching hospitals. Of patients with a full code status, 203 (9.0%) did not receive CPR at death, and associated factors included higher APACHE III score, primary neurologic or trauma diagnosis, or admission in a more recent year. Conclusion: At the time of death, 1.6% of patients received or did not undergo CPR in a manner discordant with their documented code statuses. Race and institutional factors were associated with discordant resuscitation, and addressing these disparities may promote concordant end-of-life care in all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-780.e1
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Cerner Corporation and Laura Freeseman-Freeman for the use of APACHE Outcomes data for research purposes. This research received funding from the National Institutes of Health ( National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute T32HL07741 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


  • Code status
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • discordant care


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