Officials at a California adult living facility where a 87-year-odl resident has died after being denied CPR say that the woman who refused to revive the patient was not a nurse.
The deceased, identified as Lorraine Bayless, collapsed in the dining room of the Glenwood Gardens independent senior living complex in Bakersfield on Tuesday.
A staffer who identified herself as a nurse quickly called 911 from her cell phone, but refused to administer CPR, citing it was against company policy. Ms Bayless was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Christopher Finn, a spokesman for Brookdale Senior Living, which owns the Glenwood Gardens facility, told the Los Angeles Times that the unnamed caller was 'serving in the capacity of a resident services director, not as a nurse.'
Finn would not say if the director was licensed as a nurse.
It was later revealed that Ms Bayless had no Do Not Resuscitate form on file. However, it is against the policy of the retirement home to give CPR to residents of the independent living complex.
The executive director at Glenwood, Jeffrey Toomer, said in a statement: ‘In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community, our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives.
‘This is the protocol we followed,’ he said, adding that there would be an internal review of the incident.'
Unlike nursing homes, independent living facilities like the one where Bayless had lived resemble senior apartment complexes and generally do not provide medical care. According to Toomer, all potential residents are informed about and agree to the facility's policy regarding CPR before they move in.
Her daughter, who is a nurse, later told KGET that she was satisfied with the retirement home’s handling of the incident.
First responders said that CPR often does not work on elderly patients, and even if they do survive, many end up suffering from severe health complications.
Sgt. Jason Matson, of the Bakersfield Police Department, told Fox News that an investigation into the incident so far had not revealed criminal wrongdoing, but the probe is continuing.
Reports of the tragedy have sparked outrage among advocates for the elderly, prompting calls for legislation to prevent this from happening in the future.
Asemblywomna Mariko Yamada, chair of the California Assembly Aging and Long-term Care Committee, called Bayless' death a 'wake-up call.'