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A study of cardiology programs indicates that patients’ documented do-not-resuscitate (DNR) preferences are often suspended while they undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures. Moreover, the duration of DNR suspensions varied markedly across heart programs, and only 26% of the programs studied had formal policies governing clinicians’ responsibilities in these consequential decisions.

“One great strength of cardiology is that the field relies strongly on research, including randomized controlled trials and outcomes studies, to determine the best ways to treat disease. So it was very surprising to see such variability in clinical decision-making among the programs we studied,” said Dr. Gwen Bernacki, an assistant professor of cardiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

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