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Elderly Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses to Give Her CPR

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM
  • 17 Replies

A 911 dispatcher pleaded with a nurse at a Bakersfield, Calif., senior living facility to save the life of an elderly woman by giving her CPR, but the nurse said policy did not allow her to, according to a newly released audiotape of the call.

“Is there anybody there that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?” the dispatcher asked in a recording of the 911 call released by the Bakersfield Fire Department.

“Not at this time,” the nurse said.

The incident unfolded on Tuesday when 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless collapsed at Glenwood Gardens, a senior living facility in Bakersfield.

In the seven-minute, 16-second recording, the nurse told the dispatcher it was against the facility’s policy for employees to perform CPR on residents.

With every passing second, Bayless’ chances of survival were diminishing. The dispatcher’s tone turned desperate.

“Anybody there can do CPR. Give them the phone please. I understand if your facility is not willing to do that. Give the phone to that passerby,” the dispatcher said.  ”This woman is not breathing enough. She is going to die if we don’t get this started.”

After several minutes, an ambulance arrived and took Bayless to Mercy Southwest Hospital, where she died.

Glenwood Gardens released a statement confirming its policy prohibiting employees from performing CPR.

“In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community, our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives. That is the protocol we followed,” the statement said.

Despite protocol being followed, the nursing home said it would launch an internal investigation into the matter.


by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
gmadiane
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I thought this was just insane

SarahSuzyQ
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM
I'm sure this is a liability issue... I think people tend to sue if interventions are unsuccessful, so less people are doing them. Really sad. :-(
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brownhoney21
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 9:21 PM

I saw that on the newa this afternoon. Wow.

muslimahpj
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 1:06 AM

I can not believe they have that type of policy. How horrible.

hollydaze1974
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 1:51 AM
This would allude that these " Senior Living Centers" workers are not nurses but technicians, do BP checks and that's it?may not even administer medication?

No actual medical nurse on staff? No CPR certification required? Just walk in, say they are a people person and hired at minimum?

We allow our parents and grandparents to live (excuse me, " convalesce" ) in these places?
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lillucky8
by Jen on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:14 AM
Oh my goodness. That goes against everything ive ever been taught. They hammer cpr into us at the hospitals and nursing homes here, we are the first responders and you bet ur bottom id have tried cpr immediately.
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meam4444
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:46 AM

 I wonder though maybe it is in private documents (so the center isn't saying), but perhaps, the woman had in her files that she did not want to be resuscitated in case anything like this happened?  I know a few older people who have documents which state how much medical attention and what they want done in different scenarios and depending on their current health condition too (and the center is keeping this private and just stating policy??).  This is just something which popped in the head.

Overall, very very sad.  :-(  I was frustrated just listening to the 911 call.

TigerofMu
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 9:37 AM

That is sad.  I don't know what I would do in that situation.  I might have to just lose my job, but it's easy to say that from here, not being in that position.

pamk5641
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

 I couldn't believe that when I heard it on the news. I can't comprehend that.  I hope that nurse loses her license.  I can't imagine having that on my conscience.

gmadiane
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM

this is why I dont understand, I am a nurse, I work geriatric, I know about DNR's they are not private in a facility, if you work with someone you know if they have a DNR its the first page of all patient charts so I do not believe this is the case, I have never heard of a facility or nurse not able to give cpr

Quoting meam4444:

 I wonder though maybe it is in private documents (so the center isn't saying), but perhaps, the woman had in her files that she did not want to be resuscitated in case anything like this happened?  I know a few older people who have documents which state how much medical attention and what they want done in different scenarios and depending on their current health condition too (and the center is keeping this private and just stating policy??).  This is just something which popped in the head.

Overall, very very sad.  :-(  I was frustrated just listening to the 911 call.


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