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    'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

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    News 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Chris on Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:59 am

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2013/03/nurse-refuses-to-give-cpr-to-elderly-woman-who-later-died.html


    Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died [updated]
    March 2, 2013 | 3:50 pm



    Bakersfield fire dispatcher Tracey Halvorson pleaded with the woman on the other end of the line, begging her to start CPR on an elderly woman who was barely breathing.

    “It’s a human being,” Halvorson said, speaking quickly. “Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?”

    The woman paused.

    “Um, not at this time.”

    On a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department, the woman on the other end of the line told Halvorson that she was a nurse at Glenwood Gardens, a senior living facility in Bakersfield. But on Tuesday, the nurse refused to give the woman CPR, saying it was against the facility’s policy for staff to do so, according to the tape.

    The elderly woman was identified by KGET-TV (Channel 17) as 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless. She died Tuesday at Mercy Hospital Southwest, KGET reported.

    In the tape, a different Glenwood Gardens employee said that an elderly woman had passed out in the facility’s dining room while eating. She was barely breathing.

    For several minutes, Halvorson begged the nurse to begin CPR, saying something had to be done before an ambulance arrived.

    After the nurse repeatedly refused, Halvorson asked her to find a passerby or anyone who would be willing to help. Halvorson said she would talk someone through performing CPR.

    “I understand if your facility is not willing to do that,” Halvorson told the nurse. “Give the phone to that passerby, that stranger…this woman’s not breathing enough.

    “She’s going to die if we don’t get this started.… I don’t understand why you’re not willing to help this patient.”

    The nurse could be heard talking to someone else at the facility.

    “She’s yelling at me,” she said of Halvorson, “and saying we have to have one of our residents perform CPR. I’m feeling stressed, and I’m not going to do that, make that call.”

    When Halvorson asked the nurse if she was going to let the woman die, the nurse said, “That’s why we called 911.”

    After a few minutes, the nurse said the ambulance had arrived. The tape ended with Halvorson sighing.

    The facility’s executive director, Jeffrey Toomer, sent a statement on behalf of Glenwood Gardens to KGET, the station reported.

    “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,” the statement said, according to KGET.

    Bakersfield Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Galagaza said Halvorson followed protocol and that dispatchers give CPR instructions over the phone numerous times each year.

    Bayless' daughter told KGET that she was a nurse and was satisfied with her mother's care at Glenwood Gardens, the station reported.



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Hyacinth Girl on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:02 am

    That nurse and everyone else that works at that facility should be fired and the owner fined, in my opinion. There comes a point where you ignore all the policies and red-tape when a life is at stake and just fucking give the CPR already--doesn't matter the situation. If it had been a child on the property that needed the care, would they have acted any different? That's why the offer CPR courses--so people can use the skills to save others, and I'm appalled at that nurse--our goal in the medical field is to preserve life, not bypass an opportunity because some rule says you can't use your skills. Screw 'em all--do the right thing.

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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by tmontyb on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:47 am

    Hyacinth Girl wrote:That nurse and everyone else that works at that facility should be fired and the owner fined, in my opinion. There comes a point where you ignore all the policies and red-tape when a life is at stake and just fucking give the CPR already--doesn't matter the situation. If it had been a child on the property that needed the care, would they have acted any different? That's why the offer CPR courses--so people can use the skills to save others, and I'm appalled at that nurse--our goal in the medical field is to preserve life, not bypass an opportunity because some rule says you can't use your skills. Screw 'em all--do the right thing.

    I can see why you feel that way, but it's just not that simple. I've been in the nursing profession since 1988 and the rules are put in place for a reason. She followed the facilities protocol. If she had not, she could be fired.

    From what I've read, that was an assisted living facility, not a hospital. The rules are different. Maybe there are underlying reasons why she didn't help. Who knows? Anyway, I probably would have helped. I keep a mouth barrier in my backpack because you never know.



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Shale on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:56 am

    Since the family seemed OK with it, I suspect there may be part of the story missing. Did this woman have a DNR order? (but why call 911 in that case?)

    However, I can't imagine any facility having rules against CPR. We are all trained where I work, even office staff. It is a requirement and I work at an Intermediate Care Facility, similar to the assisted living in that article. In fact we have a nurse on duty during the daytime apparently like the nurse there. IDK why they would have such a lame rule against saving a life.
    blank stare @ you




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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Hyacinth Girl on Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:00 pm

    tmontyb wrote:

    I can see why you feel that way, but it's just not that simple. I've been in the nursing profession since 1988 and the rules are put in place for a reason. She followed the facilities protocol. If she had not, she could be fired.

    From what I've read, that was an assisted living facility, not a hospital. The rules are different. Maybe there are underlying reasons why she didn't help. Who knows? Anyway, I probably would have helped. I keep a mouth barrier in my backpack because you never know.


    I've worked in the clinical laboratory since 1987, and I'd rather lose my job knowing I helped save someone's life. Life is too fragile, too short, and there should be no rules when it comes to being a good citizen and helping out when someone is in need. If there's more to this story than has been revealed, like Shale says, then yes, there could be a valid reason for why the situation went as it did, but if not, then their rules are just plain corporate B.S. and they should be ashamed of themselves.

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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Alan Smithee on Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:07 pm

    As far as I know, at least the nurse (and I presume the facility) was shielded from liability by the California Good Samaritan Law because CPR would be considered emergency medical care. Was this legal? Apparently. Was it moral or ethical? Not according to this agnostic.



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Bluesmama on Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:05 pm

    Good Lord, in my last job I had a de-fibrillator stored at my reception desk in city hall for those who had training to use it (I was not one of them). If a band of city employees can take cpr classes, and be expected to use it, then I can't see why those in an assisted living facility can't do the same. Sounds like a management issue.



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Tony Marino on Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:38 pm

    The daughter was o.k. with it?? Obviously she wanted her mother dead, the same thing should happen to her, can you imagine the terror that poor woman was in probably knowing she was going to die? Another thing to find out before putting your loved on in a nursing facility, what are the rules of saving a life.




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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Alan Smithee on Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:18 pm

    A woman who died after a nurse at her elder home refused to provide CPR had chosen to live in a facility without medical staff and wanted to pass away without life-prolonging intervention, her family said Tuesday.

    Lorraine Bayless' family said in a statement to The Associated Press that it does not plan to sue the independent living facility where the 87-year-old woman died last week.

    A 911 tape recounts a dramatic conversation between a dispatcher and a nurse who refused to cooperate with pleas for someone to start CPR as firefighters sped to the scene. In the 7-minute, 16-second exchange, the dispatcher insisted the nurse perform CPR or find someone willing to do it.

    The home's parent company said in a statement that the employee wrongly interpreted company policy when she declined to offer aide.

    "This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents. Glenwood Gardens is conducting a full internal investigation," Brookdale Senior Living said, adding that the employee was on voluntary leave during the process.

    City fire officials say Bayless did not have a "do not resuscitate" order on file at the home. Her family said, however, "it was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention."

    Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility, and company officials say no medical staff is employed there. The woman who identified herself as a nurse to the dispatcher was employed at the facility as a resident services director, the company said.

    The nurse's decision has prompted multiple state and local investigations at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield.

    The California attorney general was "aware" of the incident, said a spokeswoman, Lynda Gledhill. Bakersfield police were trying to determine whether a crime was committed when the nurse refused to assist the 911 dispatcher looking for someone to start CPR.

    The nation's largest trade group for senior living facilities has called for its members to review policies that employees might interpret as edicts to not cooperate with emergency responders.

    "It was a complete tragedy," said Maribeth Bersani, senior vice president of the Assisted Living Federation of America. "Our members are now looking at their policies to make sure they are clear. Whether they have one to initiate (CPR) or not, they should be responsive to what the 911 person tells them to do."

    Bayless collapsed in the Glenwood Gardens dining hall on Feb. 26. Someone called 911 on a cellphone asking for an ambulance to be sent and eventually a woman who identified herself as a nurse got on the line.

    It's crucial that all family members are on the same page when choosing an assisted living facility for their loved ones – and when considering end-of-life directives. NBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.
    Brookdale Senior Living said in a statement that the woman on the 911 call was "serving in the capacity of a resident services director, not a nurse."

    The Tennessee-based parent company also said that by law, the independent living facility is "not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents." But it added later that it was reviewing company policies "involving emergency medical care across all of our communities."

    Bayless' family said she was aware that Glenwood Gardens did not offer trained medical staff, yet opted to live there anyway.

    "We understand that the 911 tape of this event has caused concern, but our family knows that mom had full knowledge of the limitations of Glenwood Gardens and is at peace," the family's statement said.

    The death shines a light on the varying medical care that different types of elderly housing provide — differences that consumers may not be aware of, advocates say.

    Even if independent living homes lack trained medical staff, some say they should be ready to perform basic services such as CPR if needed.

    The California Board of Registered Nursing is concerned that the woman who spoke to the 911 dispatcher did not respond to requests to provide aid or to find someone who might want to help.

    "If she's not engaged in the practice of nursing, there's no obligation (to help)," agency spokesman Russ Heimerich said. "What complicates this further is the idea that she wouldn't hand the phone over either. So that's why we want to look into it."

    "I would certainly hope someone would choose human life over a facility policy, said Robyn Grant, director of public policy and advocacy at the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. "That's pretty rotten."

    The family said it would not sue or try to profit from the death, and called it "a lesson we can all learn from."

    "We regret that this private and most personal time has been escalated by the media," the statement said.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/03/05/17199790-family-of-california-woman-who-died-after-being-denied-cpr-says-she-wanted-no-intervention?lite



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Tony Marino on Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:46 pm

    So there was no written do not resuscitate order, Mama just wanted to go with no intervention. You know what?? That is total bullshit. When you are in a Nursing Facility and at that age THEY INSIST that a do not resuscitate order is filled out by both patient AND FAMILY MEMBER(S). I had to do it for my father and they bugged the shit out of me until it was done. Nice way of the family saying screw the old lady and glad she is gone.




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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Shale on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:01 pm

    Tony Marino wrote:...Nice way of the family saying screw the old lady and glad she is gone.

    I think you are being too harsh on a family of which you do not know all the details.

    IDK how many countless times I talk to my mother, when she is quite lucid and says "I wish I could die." Could be depression, or it could be the realization that her life is not fun any more. She is in a facility that gives most of her care but I don't know the specifics of their DNR policy, or if she has a written one. My sister is her medical surrogate and makes those decisions. A few years ago when we thot she was dying, she had one written at the hospital she was in.

    I am a firm advocate of end-life decisions (which I'm sure the Catholic church is against). I believe in quality of life, not adding up more miserable time in this body.




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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Bluesmama on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:35 pm

    I am not positive about this but I think there was a DNR in this case. However, one would think that the facility had it posted by her bed or something.



    Opposite situation happened in our family. Husband's brother had a brain aneurysm and stroke almost two years ago and it looked very grave. The siblings knew he had a DNR but his son "couldn't find it" (we don't believe him). But his son devoted 100% of his time helping his dad recover, and has done so miraculously, although he'll never be like he used to be. However, he has filled out another DNR and made it clear that he does not want to live through another one.



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Tony Marino on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:49 pm

    Bluesmama wrote:I am not positive about this but I think there was a DNR in this case. However, one would think that the facility had it posted by her bed or something.



    Opposite situation happened in our family. Husband's brother had a brain aneurysm and stroke almost two years ago and it looked very grave. The siblings knew he had a DNR but his son "couldn't find it" (we don't believe him). But his son devoted 100% of his time helping his dad recover, and has done so miraculously, although he'll never be like he used to be. However, he has filled out another DNR and made it clear that he does not want to live through another one.



    "City fire officials say Bayless did not have a "do not resuscitate" order on file at the home. Her family said, however, "it was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention."

    This is really odd because in the facilities my father had been in, they insisted on a DNR order and it had to have two witnesses sign it as well as myself. Something is really screwy about this.







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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Tony Marino on Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:53 pm

    Shale wrote:

    I think you are being too harsh on a family of which you do not know all the details.

    IDK how many countless times I talk to my mother, when she is quite lucid and says "I wish I could die." Could be depression, or it could be the realization that her life is not fun any more. She is in a facility that gives most of her care but I don't know the specifics of their DNR policy, or if she has a written one. My sister is her medical surrogate and makes those decisions. A few years ago when we thot she was dying, she had one written at the hospital she was in.

    I am a firm advocate of end-life decisions (which I'm sure the Catholic church is against). I believe in quality of life, not adding up more miserable time in this body.

    Shale....are you saying you are miserable in your body?? Wink I am very much in agreement about end of life decisions and I don't think the Catholic Church is against it, if they are I surely never heard about it. Far as I can remember they are only against Suicide as an end of life decision.





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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Alan Smithee on Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:13 pm

    Shale wrote:

    I am a firm advocate of end-life decisions (which I'm sure the Catholic church is against). I believe in quality of life, not adding up more miserable time in this body.

    Well, careful there. Much of what I found indicates that the Catholic Church generally doesn't have a problem with at least informed consent for DNR.



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    News Re: 'Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died'

    Post by Nystyle709 on Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:10 pm

    That's unfortunate.



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