Calling 911

Betty U asked 5 years ago

Shelia, I’ve heard that if your loved one is in hospice you’re not supposed to call 911 when he/she passes away.  Why not?

1 Answers
Shelia Shook Staff answered 5 years ago

Thank you Betty for that question. Calling 911 is the panic button for most people where health issues are concerned. But when a patient or family choose Hospice, they are essentially choosing not to seek aggressive treatment. However, there are a few appropriate times for a hospice patient’s family to call 911-perhaps the patient fell and possibly broke a bone. The family should still call hospice. Hospice will notify the ER the patient is coming in and give them report so they will only treat the issues from the fall. Otherwise the patient may undergo a battery of diagnostic tests and be admitted for the very diagnosis for which the patient chose hospice. In that case, they need to sign a hospice revocation form. If not, they risk being billed for the tests and the hospital stay. 
Also, if a patient has signed a DNR (do not resuscitate) directive and someone calls 911, the EMS staff will perform CPR when the patient didn’t want it. I have the perfect story to explain this. I will post it in my BLOG soon. Please watch for it.

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