NY scraps ‘do-not-resuscitate’ order for cardiac arrest patients

The guidelines had briefly been changed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic

A New York guideline introduced last week that had been meant to ease the burden on the state’s emergency rooms has been rescinded after public outcry.

On April 17, New York implemented an EMS protocol that adult cardiac arrest victims who cannot be resuscitated at the scene will not be transported to a hospital with CPR in progress, unless the patient's pulse or breathing has returned, according to Riverhead Local.

By Wednesday, the order had been rescinded, according to New York Daily News.

“This guidance, proposed by physician leaders of the EMS Regional Medical Control Systems and the State Advisory Council — in accordance with American Heart Association guidance and based on standards recommended by the American College of Emergency Physicians and adopted in multiple other states — was issued April 17, 2020 at the recommendation of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, and reflected ‎nationally recognized minimum standards,” the Health Department said in a statement.

“However,” it added, “they don’t reflect New York’s standards and for that reason DOH Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker has ordered them to be rescinded.”

Some New York communities, including Nassau County and New York City, had implemented those protocols last month.

The “COVID-19 Public Health Emergency EMS Cardiac Arrest Standards of Care” mandated statewide by the State Department of Health was issued April 18 and is now in effect.

Some emergency workers were not pleased with the new rule. Oren Barzilay, head of a New York union for EMTs and paramedics, told the Post  earlier this week.

“They’re not giving people a second chance to live anymore,” Barzilay said before the order was changed.