Do not attempt resuscitation orders at the emergency department of a teaching hospital

<div><p>ABSTRACT Objective: To identify factors associated with not attempting resuscitation. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted at the emergency department of a teaching hospital. The sample consisted of 285 patients; in that, 216 were submitted to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and 69 were not. The data were collected by means of the in-hospital Utstein Style. To compare resuscitation attempts with variables of interest we used the χ2 test, likelihood ratio, Fisher exact test, and analysis of variance (p<0.05). Results: No cardiopulmonary resuscitation was considered unjustifiable in 56.5% of cases; in that, 37.7% did not want resuscitation and 5.8% were found dead. Of all patients, 22.4% had suffered a previous cardiac arrest, 49.1% were independent for Activities of Daily Living, 89.8% had positive past medical/surgical history; 63.8% were conscious, 69.8% were breathing and 74.4% had a pulse upon admission. Most events (76.4%) happened at the hospital, the presumed cause was respiratory failure in 28.7% and, in 48.4%, electric activity without pulse was the initial rhythm. The most frequent cause of death was infection. The factors that influenced non-resuscitation were advanced age, history of neoplasm and the initial arrest rhythm was asystole. Conclusion: Advanced age, past history of neoplasia and asystole as initial rhythm were factors that significantly influenced the non-performance of resuscitation. Greater clarity when making the decision to resuscitate patients can positively affect the quality of life of survivors.</p></div>