Vietnam Vet Dies After Mistaken DNR Order at Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Roland Mayo, 65, of Citrus Heights, Calif., was the victim of a do-not-resuscitate bracelet incorrectly placed on his arm, family members say. (Photo: Courtesy of Mayo family)
Roland Mayo, 65, of Citrus Heights, Calif., was the victim of a do-not-resuscitate bracelet incorrectly placed on his arm, family members say.
(Photo: Courtesy of Mayo family)

A Vietnam veteran and former deputy sheriff who died following surgery last week at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center here had a do-not-resuscitate armband mistakenly placed on him, VA officials said.

But the officials insisted the error was not fatal because doctors quickly checked the medical records of Roland Mayo, 65, of Citrus Heights, Calif., to confirm the designation.

“Friday morning he was smiling and doing fine,” said Delania Mayo Kenton, the youngest of Mayo’s three grown children.

Privacy rules prevent the VA from identifying the patient to anyone other than his next of kin, in this case his twin brother, spokeswoman Tara Ricks said Monday.

Kenton and Mayo’s daughter-in-law were among the family members who identified Mayo as the patient.

Kenton, who lives in Los Angeles, said her father was hospitalized Oct. 8 for a stent replacement in his carotid artery but that complications from previous cancer surgery required a second operation. Initial reports from family members at the hospital were that the second surgery had gone well.

Later, Kenton was told her father began vomiting and then choking on the vomit.

“After an initial investigation, we can confirm that a do-not-resuscitate band was incorrectly placed on one of our patients who passed away on Friday,” Ricks said in a statement. “The arm band did not contribute to a delay in the response of the code team, which attempted to resuscitate the patient within minutes of the code being called. At this time, initial findings indicate that timely resuscitation was performed.

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SOURCE: USA Today / KXTV-TV – George Warren

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