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This was drilled into our heads in EMT school--without a valid DNR per protocols, we continue CPR. The exact rules vary from county to county and from state to state, but the point is to ensure that the DNR is well and truly valid before denying potentially lifesaving care to a patient (and to legally protect the first responders, who can lose their license/possibly go to jail for recklessly failing to provide appropriate care).

You can read San Francisco's EMS protocol for DNRs--it's more complicated than just saying (or wearing) "NO CODE."

http://www.sfdem.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=76... (warning: pdf)

Note that the bracelet/necklace frequently has a phone # that the first responders can call to verify the DNR.

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