Skip to comments.Elderly Woman Dies in Retirement Home After Nurse Refuses CPR
Posted on 03/04/2013 2:24:33 PM PST by Morgana
An elderly woman living at a retirement home in Bakersfield, California died after a nurse at the facility refused to administer CPR to save her. A new video has been released with portions of the 911 call during which dispatchers plead with the nurse to save the womans life.
During the call, the nurse said it was against the facilitys policy.
Is there anybody there thats willing to help this lady and not let her die? the dispatcher asked.
Not at this time, the nurse said.
The incident happened on Tuesday when 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless collapsed at Glenwood Gardens. The dispatcher can be heard begging the nurse to perform CPR, sounding desperate as the moments wore on.
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 dont get this started.
Several minutes later, an ambulance arrived and took Bayless to Mercy Southwest Hospital, where she later died.
Glenwood Gardens has released a statement conforming 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 facility said.
See the video here.
California-based bioethics attorney Wesley Smith, who is pro-life, commented on the case.
This seems like a real scandal, but it needs a little unpacking. Sounds utterly damning. But a word of caution: The woman might have signed a Do Not Resuscitate order. If so, the proper course is to comfort the patient but not try to reviveand, by the way, not call 911. But that does not seem to be the case here:
Jeffrey Toomer, executive director of Glenwood Gardens, issued a statement on behalf of the facility, extending his sympathies to the Bayless family. But Toomer also defended the nurse, saying she followed policy. 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, he said. That is the protocol we followed. As with any incident involving a resident, we will conduct a thorough internal review of this matter, but we have no further comments at this time.
Perhaps the facility feared a lawsuit if CPR was done inexpertly. But a blanket do not resuscitate policy regardless of the circumstances or patient? Big trouble on the way. I think it would be worth knowing if this kind of policy is ubiquitous within the industry.
This may be SOP in many homes. My aunt was found in her bed non responsive in Dec ‘11. The home called 911 and the EMTs pronounced her. No efforts were made by the floor nurse and my aunt did not have a DNR. I did some research and found this to be the protocols more often than not. In looking for a placement for my uncle I queried staff and was told they did not respond other than calling 911.
Is this the new “Death Panel”?
Looks to me like they're trying to avoid any liability from the CPR. "If you've been injured by a medical provider, call 1-800-BIG-TORT"
If it is legal it is totally immoral IMO
they;re not proper nurses per se and they;re only called that due to the elderly home making it look as such and making more money out of the elderly folks who for the most part are dumped off there.
Speaks volumes how they watched a woman die and then the daughter said she has no problem what these so called nurses did.
As for lawsuits then the home said that they have 24 hour medical services etc
then she knows nothing as the home also advertises that the home has 24 hour medical and how the elderly will be in good safe care.
Seems that they saw an old woman and thought the hell wiht that
How does this 911 operator know that she is not breathing enough??? Is she there??? She has a nurse on the other end of the phone. If she is breathing then she is breathing and that is enough until the oxygen arrives.
This 911 operator's insistence on CPR for a woman who was still breathing is a bit much. If she is breathing on her own you don't want to crack her ribs with CPR and complicate any recovery.
My late father had DNR on his medical records, but he refused to wear a bracelet stating as much.
I’ll make a guess here, that the company which owns this facility has been sued in the past over a similiar issue. The issue could be due to non-medical personnel performing procedures better left to experts, and the company was sued and found culpable.
My father’s AL residence, which cost nearly $5000.00 per month for a meals, care, cable service and single room plus bathroom, had a nurse on duty 24/7.
“This 911 operator’s insistence on CPR for a woman who was still breathing is a bit much. If she is breathing on her own you don’t want to crack her ribs with CPR and complicate any recovery. “
I have read that in order to do CPR properly, expect to either crack or break the person’s ribs during it.
She later died at the hospital. Was she in cardiac arrest? If she was having trouble breathing, how about just administering oxygen instead of CPR?
Yep — and if you don’t crack the ribs then you are not going down far enough to accomplish anything.
It seems there are some people that do not believe you or an 87 year old lady has the right to sign a DNR and that a $12.00 an hour low level government clerk functioning as a 911 operator should have the final say in the medical treatment you receive even if it is against your wishes.
Attack the nurse all you wish but the "Call 911 only" policy is due to the trial lawyers. If she had done any damage, and broken ribs have now been mentioned several times, she and the facility she works for would probably been sued by some bottom feeding lawyer.
So the facility has instituted the ""Call 911 only" policy and she, as an employee, is obligated to adhere to it.
You are absolutely right. These CPR advocates are like religious zealots who think that CPR is the answer to everything.
The woman was still breathing on her own. That was enough to just leave her alone and wait for the EMTs and the oxygen.
I notice that she didn’t die at the nursing home, or even in the ambulance, but at the hospital.
I would be interested to know if the EMTs started CPR when they got there and continued it all the way to the hospital, or if they even did it at all but just gave her oxygen.
This was the lead story on the NBC Nightly News tonight. Surprised me but it had more details than I’ve read online to this point. The woman’s daughter said she agreed with the policy and what was done by the facility. NBC brought in Nancy Snyderman, MD, for commentary on proper placement of seniors in facilities and that zealous CPR is not necessarily the correct choice for a patient in respiratory distress.
The problem is that if you do CPR right you will break the patient's ribs on the first couple of thrusts, and if you don't hear the ribs crack then you are not going down far enough to do any good and you are wasting your time.
California does have a Good Samaritan Law, however as long as the nurse or doctors are on the clock they are libel and not protected. However, a lay person walking by the incident could have preform CPR and not be held liable. The nurse refused letting anyone try to save the women.
They are going to be sued anyways and will likely lose. The police are looking to see if any laws were broken for refusing to allow anyone to help. It is an insane world where those who are trained have to watch the untrained preform the work to avoid being sued.
When my father was 86 his doctor warned me not to call 911. He said the paramedics would break his ribs and he would die in pain.
I saw an elderly man collapse in my local hardware store. I went up to him and he had no pulse and wasn’t breathing. I opened his jacket to start CPR and noticed a large bandage under his shirt. His wife told me he had just gotten home the day before after open heart surgery. I said what the hell and started CPR anyway. The ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later and the volunteer driver said his assistant wasn’t even with the rescue squad and asked if I could continue CPR to the hospital. I said what the hell again and went along for the 10 minute ride. After we got to the hospital the ER doctor asked “who did the CPR on this guy?” I thought he was going to tell me I broke his ribs and killed him but he just said “good job, you saved this man’s life”. He was out of the hospital a week later and a friend saw him shoveling his walk about 3 months later. The real funny part: I had a brand new youth program employee with me, I had left her in the truck and when she saw the ambulance arrive she went in and said later “ I came in the hardware and saw you bending over kissing this old man”. Another thing: my arms and shoulders were sore as hell for aobut three days.
—Delivered two babies in the parking lot of a hospital because god forbid the doctors take a step out
—Sat on top of a woman doing CPR as they transported her from a nursing home to the CONNECTING hospital via tunnel because god forbid the nursing home or hospital do anything but call 911. The woman was at an awards ceremony 6 months later for fire/police because she insisted my husband get recognized for saving her life.
—Husband has had to push an ER doctor out of the way to intubate a patient himself before the Dr let the guy suffocate. I could go on... These things happen everyday. Husband is a FF in NY state.
And what if it were a visitor having a heart attack? Would they perform CPR then? And what if they mistook a visitor for a Resident and did nothing?
Where I live, you have to be pronounced dead by a doctor, so you wouldn’t know if she had stopped breathing or died in the ambulance as there is no doctor to pronounce. Also, many times CPR is started because when some ones heart stops, a separate person screaming they have a DNR is no proof of a DNR. Paramedics are not there to search for paperwork when minutes count.
>> You would have prevented her from requesting DNR when she was admitted?
>> What is it about DNR you don’t understand. Do you enjoy breaking old people ribs when they have personally requested DNR.
Your punctuation doesn’t help your baseless remarks.
I’m sure Eric that if this happened to their family member then their views would be different.
The home promotes health and care 24 hours , something which seems to be ignored off some .
If medical facilities and medical personel were legally protected from malpractice law suits, they will quickly kill for profit. They have been culturally cleansed of Western ethics a long time ago.
The only thing that holds them back from killing patients with incompetence and cost saving malpractice, is the power of the patient and family to get even in court. Don’t ever lose that power.
>> These CPR advocates are like religious zealots who think that CPR is the answer to everything.
I never met a religious zealot that thought CPR was the answer to everything.
The dispatcher obviously wanted CPR. Who are the other zealot-minded advocates you’re referring to?
I know many physicians, nurses, and, unfortunately tort lawyers.
There is no comparison between the ethics of these groups.
I work with the medical profession and I know their ethics are caculated on a profit level.
Like all professions, there are some really ethical and good men and women in medical profession. But business is business and if you remove a cost for malpractice, you will see more of it. They are not a priesthood of self denial for the sake of humanity. They operate to make money.
But you have met religious zealots, right???
The dispatcher obviously wanted CPR.
And just who made her the boss??? Her job was to get the EMTs there as quickly as possible and pay attention to the person on the other end of the phone when they tell you that the patient is breathing on their own instead of dismissing her and demanding that she begin CPR even though CPR is contraindicated if a person is breathing on their own.
Who are the other zealot-minded advocates youre referring to?
People like her --
That’s why they use dummies for cpr training classes.
If you were required to have your partner break your ribs and
possibly puncture your lungs and damage your kidney, there
probably wouldn’t be too many people signing up for cpr training classes.
And where did you get the view there was a DNR. It has now come out that there was no DNR, that the policy from the home was not carried out and that she was given CPR in the ambulance thus this woman and her fake nurses watched a woman die with no interest in helping her.
NBC, there has been all outlets reporting that there was no DNR, and if there had of been then the emergency services woul dnot have tried to save her.
There was no DNR and these fakes who call themselves nurses watched a woman die whilst in their car plus even the home has mentioned that the fake nurses were in error and that the woman is now on leave