What is DOA?

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What is DOA?
In the medical community, DOA stands for “dead on arrival”. It simply means that a particular person is considered to be “clinically dead” upon arrival at a medical facility. DOA may also be used when the first medical respondents will find a person clinically dead upon initial checking. In cases wherein medical assistance is given to people outside of medical facilities, it is usually the paramedics or the police that get into the patient first. There are also instances that emergency medical personnel or firefighters are the first available form of medical assistance to the patient. But the declaration of “DOA” may differ from one jurisdiction to the other. In some areas, countries, cities, or municipalities, a “DOA” can only be declared by a licensed physician. In the case where only a paramedic or an emergency medical technician is the first responder to a particular injured person without a pulse, he/she may need to coordinate and talk with a licensed physician in order to make a “DOA” declaration.

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It is also common for first responders to conduct CPR or cardio-pulmonary resuscitation when a particular person is found to have no pulse. In most instances, these first responders are required by law to continue providing CPR until a licensed physician arrives at the scene to declare the injured person as dead. But there are also a lot of instances wherein CPR is not necessary or DOA declaration may not need consultation from a licensed physician. These cases include obvious “death instances” like severe head trauma, decapitation, incineration, body decomposition, and/or severed body parts. There’s also a condition called “rigor mortis”, which indicates that a particular person has been dead for several hours already. In this case, CPR is also not indicated anymore.

With its use in the medical community, urban lingo has also “borrowed” the term DOA which could have a literal meaning of “uselessness upon arrival”. This could be used in cases where a particular idea or project is deemed to fail at the start. Or the label “DOA” could also be used for a product that’s considered defective or broken from the start.

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