Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Information

Under Subchapter III of Wis. Stat. Chapter 154, an attending physician may issue a do-not-resuscitate order for a "qualified patient," as defined in  Wis. Stat. s. 154.17 (4).

As defined in Wis. Stat. s. 154.17 (2), a do-not-resuscitate order directs emergency medical technicians, first responders and emergency health care facilities personnel not to attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the person for whom the order is issued if that person suffers cardiac or respiratory arrest. The purpose of a do-not-resuscitate order is to ensure that medical care provided in the emergency department and out-of-hospital settings is consistent with the patient's desire and the attending physician's authorization.

DNR Bracelets

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) bracelets identify a person with a valid DNR order.

Before the patient receives a bracelet

  • The attending physician must counsel the patient, the legal guardian, or the health care agent of an incapacitated patient.
  • The counseling session should include:
    • Written information about DNR procedures.
    • Documents noting the qualifying medical condition that warrants the DNR order (these documents will be placed in the patient's file).

There are two types of DNR bracelets available to identify a person with a valid DNR order. Both have been used in Wisconsin since 1995 and require a completed Do Not Resuscitate form F-44763 (PDF, 154 KB) to be completed by the physician.

The plastic ID bracelet
Image showing a sample of the Do Not Resuscitate bracelet

  • This bracelet looks like a hospital identification band and is free.
  • It should be obtained directly from the physician.
  • The band contains an official insert including:
    • The physician's signature.
    • The physician's printed name.
    • The physician's business telephone number.
    • The preprinted logo of the State of Wisconsin.

Note: The Department of Health Services does not supply the plastic bracelets, and there is no selected vendor. Each facility can use any vendor the facility chooses.

The metal ID bracelet
Image of a Do Not Resuscitate Bracelet

  • This bracelet is available from StickyJ® Medical ID (PDF, 1.3 MB) for a fee. Cost information can be found on the StickyJ ®Medical ID website.
  • This bracelet is recommended by the State of Wisconsin as the vendor for the permanent-type metal bracelet (per Wisconsin Statute ch. 154) .
  • The front displays:
    • The internationally recognized symbol Staff of Aesculapius.
    • The words "Wisconsin-Do-Not-Resuscitate-EMS."
  • The back displays:
    • The qualified patient's first and last names.
    • Other health informaiton if space is available.

Note: Bracelets purchased through Medic Alert prior to Wisconsin identifying a new recommended vendor, will continue to be recognized.

To revoke a DNR order

The patient, patient's guardian, or health care agent who signed the Do Not Resusciatate (DNR) form can revoke the order by removing, or asking someone to remove, the DNR bracelet. The attending physician must be notified as soon as possible.

Ordering Bracelet Inserts

If you are a health care facility or physician's office and want to order the printed Do Not Resuscitate Insert (F-44764) materials:

  1. Open the Publication Request Form F-80025a (Word, 158 KB).
  2. Fill in the shipping address (use street address only, no post office boxes), date, telephone number and email address.
  3. Request only the quantity that you will use over the next three to six months.
  4. Save the completed form to your computer and email it as an attachment to dhsfmdphpph@wisconsin.gov.
  5. Please note that the Department of Health Services does not supply the plastic bracelets, and there is no selected vendor. Each facility can use any vendor the facility chooses.

For program information, please contact the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Health Care by calling 608-266-1568 or email dhsemssmail@dhs.wisconsin.gov.

Last Revised: July 24, 2017