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DNR and anesthesia

Anesthesiologists in particular need to be aware that studies indicate that many patients with DNR orders in their charts (up to 46%) may be unaware that the order exists, even when they are competent. Documentation of discussion of DNR orders with the patient or appropriate surrogates must take place; anesthesiologists and surgeons should nevertheless approach the patient about to undergo surgery with sensitivity to the fact that they may be unaware of their DNR order. If this proves to be the case, a full discussion of the DNR order should be undertaken prior to proceeding.