The timing of do-not-resuscitate orders and hospital costs

K. Eric De Jonge, Daniel P. Sulmasy, Karen G. Gold, Andrew Epstein, Michael G. Harper, John M. Eisenberg, Kevin A. Schulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The relation between the timing of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and the cost of medical care is not well understood. This prospective observational study compares hospital costs and length of stay of 265 terminally ill patients with admission DNR orders, delayed DNR orders (occurring after 24 hours), or no DNR orders (full code). Patients whose orders remained full code throughout a hospital stay had similar lengths of stay, total hospital costs, and daily costs as patients with admission DNR orders. Patients with delayed DNR orders, by contrast, had a greater mortality, longer length of stay, and higher total costs than full code or admission DNR patients, but similar daily costs. The causes of delay in DNR orders and the associated higher costs are a matter for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-192
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders
  • Health care costs
  • Terminal illness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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