Mr. D is a 90-year-old man who was admitted to the hospital with complaints of nausea, vomiting, left arm pain, and chest pain. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is performed, and he is diagnosed as having a myocardial infarction. Mr. D has a long history of comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes, and congestive heart failure (CHF). With this in mind, the physician asks Mr. D if he wants life-sustaining measures taken (e.g., CPR, mechanical ventilation, etc.) should he experience cardiopulmonary arrest. Mr. D tells the physician that he wants all measures taken to save his life.
Imagine that you are the nurse assigned to provide care to Mr. D, and address the following:
- Considering Mr. D’s advanced age, what are the benefits/risks associated with providing life-sustaining measures?
- What factors should you consider based on the Mr. D’s age and health history?
- If Mr. D were your family member, how would you respond to his decision?