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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Grandpa's Final Wishes

My husband's Grandpa had taken the time to do the responsible thing for his family.  He had a will, a living will and a signed Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form. He also had the conversation with his wife about those plans. Yet, when the time came for those wishes to be implemented, it wasn't enough. 


Grandpa had a massive heart attack and quit breathing.  Although Grandma knew Grandpa did not want to be resuscitated and expressed that to the paramedics, she could not find his DNR form.  So, emergency responders did what they have to do in that case; they resuscitated him.

When Grandpa awoke in the ICU a few days later he was very angry because he had done all that he had been instructed to do to ensure his wishes were carried out and yet, they weren't.  Grandpa died a couple of weeks later in the ICU.  That resulted in a large medical bill which is what he was trying to avoid for the family.

 What went wrong?


We're not sure exactly.  Grandpa said he had recorded his wishes with the local medical authorities as instructed.  Since his heart attack occurred in his home, when 911 was called they should have had access to his wishes immediately, but they didn't.  He had told Grandma where the DNR form was kept at home, but she could not remember.   In the midst of the traumatic event she could not think clearly enough to remember what he had told her.

Grandpa did the right things. He had his wishes documented.  He had ensured his wishes were on file and had told his wife what his wishes were and where the form was kept.

So what else could have been done?

Nothing is 100% fool proof for sure. But we have a new tool that can help ensure your DNR form is readily available, no matter where you are.  Even with Grandpa's form on file at the hospital, if his heart attack would have happened during his trip to FL, or anywhere else away from home, it would not have helped.  In addition, we as the family could have helped Grandma if we had access to the form.

SafelyMD, and SafelyFiled (for families) gives you the ability to upload a digital copy of your DNR form
that can be made available quickly to family members and emergency responders. Digital copies of a completed DNR form is a legal copy.  Once you upload the copy of that form you can simply print out the emergency data card.  This card contains information that will grant access to your DNR form as well as other potentially life saving information that you've stored there such as allergies, current health condition and any implants.  Along with your DNR wishes, this information could be very important for medics to know before rendering treatment.  After you have your information in SafelyFiled/MD, print out your emergency data card and put it in your wallet or purse.  You can print additional copies of the card to give to family members and/or caregivers. A quick scan of your card by medics, will grant them immediate access to your health condition and your DNR form, within seconds.  It's a simple tool to use but if you need some help, ask your adult children or caregiver to assist. That will also help them to know about your wishes and where you have the forms stored.

Don't have a DNR form?

If you don't have a DNR Form and want one, the Parent Care Pro website provides a list of DNR Forms by State that you can download. They also provide links to other important forms such as health care power of attorneys and living wills.  It's a great resource to check out. 

No matter how hard we try, even the best laid plans can go awry.  But with this additional resource now available, it's another safeguard you can put in place to ensure your final wishes are granted.

SafelyMD is a free service!  Enroll now.

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