“Do-not-resuscitate (DNR)” status determines mortality in patients with COVID-19

Albert Alhatem, Odette Spruijt, Debra S. Heller, Ravi J. Chokshi, Robert A. Schwartz, W. Clark Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We investigatd the influence of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) status on mortality of hospital inpatients who died of COVID-19. This is a retrospective, observational cohort study of all patients admitted to two New Jersey hospitals between March 15 and May 15, 2020, who had, or developed, COVID-19 (1270 patients). Of these, 640 patients died (570 [89.1%] with and 70 [10.9%] without a DNR order at the time of admission) and 630 survived (180 [28.6%] with and 450 [71.4%] without a DNR order when admitted). Among the 120 patients without COVID-19 who died during this interval, 110 (91.7%) had a DNR order when admitted. Deceased positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patients were significantly more likely to have a DNR order on admission compared with recovered positive SARS-CoV-2 patients (P < 0.05), similar to those who tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 DNR patients had a higher mortality compared with COVID-19 non-DNR patients (log rank P < 0.001). DNR patients had a significantly increased hazard ratio of dying (HR 2.2 [1.5-3.2], P < 0.001) compared with non-DNR patients, a finding that remained significant in the multivariate model. The risk of death from COVID-19 was significantly influenced by the patients’ DNR status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalClinics in Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


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