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Would you give a dying person CPR even if it meant getting fired from your job?

A central California retirement home is defending one of its nurses who refused pleas by a 911 operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman who later died, saying the nurse was following policy.

911 operator Tracy Halvorson pleads for the nurse to perform CPR, and after several refusals she starts pleading for her to find a resident, or a gardener, or anyone not employed by the home to get on the phone, take her instructions and help the woman.

“Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?” Halvorson says on the call. “Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her.”

The executive director of Glenwood Gardens, Jeffrey Toomer, defended the nurse’s actions, saying she did indeed follow 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,” Toomer said in a written statement. “That is the protocol we followed.”

Residents of the home’s independent living community are informed of the policy and agree to it when they move in.

by Anonymousreply 6803/08/2013

Just wondering if the patient had some kind of DNR on file.

by Anonymousreply 103/05/2013

No DNR according to what I've read.

by Anonymousreply 203/05/2013

No, R1. It was simply the policy of this retirement community.

by Anonymousreply 303/05/2013

So far every person on the poll said they would put their job on the line to help a person in distress.

by Anonymousreply 403/05/2013

Did you guys listen to the 9-11 call? That was chilling. The calmness, devil-may-care tone of the nurse's voice is unbelievable. There's a woman dying right next to her and she has this aloofness in her voice as if the call was about a neighbor's cat getting into her rose garden. She's a nice working at a facility caring for the elderly and that's the attitude she carries around.

Is anyone around who can help?

No. No one.

It's a human being. You have to do something.

No. Policy says no.

Can you do anything?

No. Just no.

by Anonymousreply 503/05/2013

Why do they even have this policy? If a physician refused to administer CPR, wouldn't s/he be violating the Hippocratic Oath?

by Anonymousreply 603/05/2013

And are residents and their families made aware of this policy upon entering the facility?

by Anonymousreply 703/05/2013

They have the policy for insurance and legal purposes. They are only looking to avoid lawsuits in case something happens and the patient dies anyway.

In other words, they only care about covering their asses, not about the patients.

by Anonymousreply 803/05/2013

I voted no...was that the wrong answer?

by Anonymousreply 903/05/2013

For R7:

"Residents of the home’s independent living community are informed of the policy and agree to it when they move in."

One can assume the family members know this too since usually a family member signs or co-signs paperwork.

Not saying this is right, BTW.

by Anonymousreply 1003/05/2013

I am very surprised by this - I wonder how the licensing bureau for Nursing in CA feels about this policy?

by Anonymousreply 1103/05/2013

There's a special place in hell for that nurse and her employers.

by Anonymousreply 1203/05/2013

Nonetheless, R10, I have to wonder if this is explained explicitly:

"If your mother is found choking to death and is fading to the point that it is obvious that without someone's basic CPR intervention she will die, you understand that employees of the facility are obligated by their employment contracts to stand by and watch your mother die"

This is significantly different from something like a DNR or non-intervention. There can be no RELEASE from the obligations of humanity and I cannot believe that any child would concur. Again, this wasn't a living will, DNR situation.

by Anonymousreply 1303/05/2013

Wonder what their position is on the Heimlich maneuver?

by Anonymousreply 1403/05/2013

I think that doing CPR on an elderly person, especially a woman, is likely to result in broken ribs - so there are a few issues here.

by Anonymousreply 1503/05/2013

[quote]I think that doing CPR on an elderly person, especially a woman, is likely to result in broken ribs - so there are a few issues here.

New Poll:

Would you prefer a broken rib. ... or death?

by Anonymousreply 1603/05/2013

I read that she did have a DNR and her daughter (also a nurse) was glad for how the staff handled it.

by Anonymousreply 1703/05/2013

Thanks, R10. I missed the last sentence of the story.

I understand the legal ramifications for the facility, but I can't help but think that there are other ways for the facility to indemnify itself. (CPR provided with agreement that no lawsuit in case of death?)

I hope the lady's family was around. This happened in my neck of the woods. The lady was 85 and sometimes people that old outlive their family.

by Anonymousreply 1803/05/2013

Hell no,OP! CPR is not for the dying people.

by Anonymousreply 1903/05/2013

I work at a retirement community. We call 911. We do not perform CPR. If done wrong family will sue.

by Anonymousreply 2003/05/2013

It's these kinds of stories that make you wonder where the US is heading. There's multiple issues involved reflecting on what the US has become. We are a litigious nation which spawns these kinds of protocols; accepting nature of those who agreed to those terms; the callousness of the nurse -- did she not care or was she afraid to lose her job during this economic time.

I guess it is the sign of the time.

by Anonymousreply 2103/05/2013

In New York if an MD witnesses a car crash they are not legally required to provide assistance.

by Anonymousreply 2203/05/2013

If it is my that collapses and I am 87 years old, LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE. I don't want to end up in the hospital to agonize for 2 or 3 weeks and then die with a 100 thousand dollar hospital bill.

by Anonymousreply 2403/05/2013

[quote]Did you guys listen to the 9-11 call?

Does your phone have an 11 on it?

by Anonymousreply 2503/05/2013

R17 I read that she did have a DNR and her daughter (also a nurse) was glad for how the staff handled it.

How much do you want to bet that the daughter was either (1) the sole heir or (2) tired of paying for the nursing home?

Also, don't Good Samaritan laws protect people from lawsuits? Otherwise why would they have defibrillators everywhere these days?

by Anonymousreply 2603/05/2013

In TN no medical personnel are required to intervene either, but they are protected by a Good Samaritan Law from civil liability for anything less than recklessness when they do.

by Anonymousreply 2703/05/2013

Some of the comments here are incorrect. Most anyone doing CPR can not be sued. There are laws that protect the person administering CPR. Yes the family (daughter) knew of the policy and she is fine with what went down. Dr. Nancy Snyderman on the Today show today, defended the nurse. I would also defend the nurse. Many of you have allowed the audio, which was crazy to influence your feelings about the matter.

by Anonymousreply 2803/05/2013

The outcome of cpr on an elderly person is not good. The result is often coma or brain damage. People need to realize that we are not meant to live forever.

by Anonymousreply 2903/05/2013

UPDATE

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.'

by Anonymousreply 3003/05/2013

[quote]People need to realize that we are not meant to live forever.

Whaaaaat?

by Anonymousreply 3103/05/2013

She was 86 for pity's sake. And the fact she was in a NURSING home indicates she must've been pretty far gone already. I just hope someone at least held her hand or something if she was conscious.

by Anonymousreply 3203/05/2013

I thought there were Good Samaritan laws in almost every state that say you cannot get fired from your job or be held financially liable for injuries if you give someone CPR.

by Anonymousreply 3303/05/2013

I was having dinner with my grandmother at the assisted living place she lives in a few weeks ago and a guy keeled over on a table across the room (fortunately behind my grandmother).

I could see everything - it was all handled VERY quietly, a stretcher was wheeled in, he was placed on it, and wheeled out. The paramedics were still carrying the O2 masks when they walked out (didn't put them on the guy), so I'm guessing he died right at the table.

But I was totally impressed with how silently the entire thing was handled, my grandmother would have flipped her shit if she had any idea what was going on behind her.

This situation in the press has had me thinking about that a lot - if someone had started doing CPR on the guy, grandma definitely would have noticed. So would everyone else. I assumed the guy was just DNR, but..now I dunno.

by Anonymousreply 3403/05/2013

Also, the woman was still breathing when the 911 call was made. CPR is not performed on a person who is still breathing.

by Anonymousreply 3503/05/2013

That's California for you.

by Anonymousreply 3603/05/2013

[quote]This is significantly different from something like a DNR or non-intervention. There can be no RELEASE from the obligations of humanity and I cannot believe that any child would concur. Again, this wasn't a living will, DNR situation.

I agree

by Anonymousreply 3703/05/2013

Headline is ridiculous. And as others have mentioned, you don't perform CPR on someone who's still breathing.

by Anonymousreply 3803/05/2013

Call me sensitive but I wonder how the woman was feeling at the moment when no one would help her? I guess I don't want to go out with people just standing around filing their nails.

by Anonymousreply 3903/05/2013

Does anyone actually ever file their nails everywhere? Let's retire the phrase.

by Anonymousreply 4003/05/2013

No one wanted to put their mouth on that of the old lady.

by Anonymousreply 4103/05/2013

[quote]Did you guys listen to the 9-11 call?

Her face was so blue that day...

by Anonymousreply 4203/05/2013

[quote]There can be no RELEASE from the obligations of humanity and I cannot believe that any child would concur.

This would have a great line in a Joan Crawford film.

by Anonymousreply 4303/05/2013

R32, it is NOT a nursing home. It's an assisted living facility where people who are still ambulatory and have all of their faculties move so they no longer have to take care of a huge house, worry about driving, and can still live independently but have others around them.

by Anonymousreply 4403/05/2013

Oh please, r12. Walk just ONE day in a nurse's shoes before you judge. Hysterical drama Queen who would have run around screaming "do something! why won't anyone do something!?"

by Anonymousreply 4503/05/2013

I was an independant living. Not assisted living. Not a nursing home. Its a community for seniors. No medical is provided.

by Anonymousreply 4603/05/2013

I had a friend who got sued for performing CPR as it caused a cracked rib and bruising. She lost her job as she acted outside company policy.

by Anonymousreply 4703/05/2013

Lawyers.

by Anonymousreply 4803/05/2013

Please. If they had given her CPR and broken a rib, the family would have sued anyway.

by Anonymousreply 4903/05/2013

Do they really need to employ nurses? Why not just pick up the best and brightest teenagers from McDonalds or 7-11?

by Anonymousreply 5003/05/2013

Why would anyone perform CPR on a person who was breathing? That's ludicrous.

This woman didn't die because she couldn't breathe. The purpose of CPR is to get someone breathing again.

It might have made the call center responder feel better, but that's all it would have accomplished. I'm sure there's further training in the call center responder's future. Her response to the call was both inappropriate and misguided.

The deceased woman was not living in a nursing home but in an assisted living facility that provides custodial care, not medical care. She was aware of that when she went there to live out the last of her days.

There was a DNR order in place, so even if she had been unable to breathe, any employee of the facility who performed CPR on her would have been going against her express legal instructions.

The tone of the not-nurse at the custodial care center is probably because she's been trained not to respond hysterically, for the sake of nearby residents.

Guess what? When you're 86 and you sign yourself into a custodial care center with a DNR order in your file, you expect to die there. In the meantime, they feed you, clothe you and see to your basic hygiene needs. You are being kept comfortable until you die, and you (and your family) know that when you go there.

by Anonymousreply 5103/05/2013

{R6] current recommendations for CPR do not include mouth contact. It has been demonstratted that chest pumping is better alone. You do it at the rate of the beat to "Staying Alive". Seriously!!

by Anonymousreply 5203/05/2013

In Inuit, nursing home = ice floe.

by Anonymousreply 5303/05/2013

The woman was a certified nurse, right? I would think she minimally knew CPR.

Fucked up rules based on a few lawsuits. So stupid.

by Anonymousreply 5403/05/2013

The answer is yes.

A nurse can get work elsewhere. In fact, saving a person's life would be a bonus on one's job resume. File it under "Special Skills."

by Anonymousreply 5503/05/2013

Of course the daughter was pleased with how the facility handled the situation. She now has her inheritance, and the old lady out of her hair forever.

by Anonymousreply 5603/05/2013

[quote] The woman was a certified nurse, right? I would think she minimally knew CPR.

there's some question about that now. She was the director of the facility, but they're not saying whether she was actually a nurse.

by Anonymousreply 5703/05/2013

You people know nothing.

1.) she had a DNR. That means DO NOT GIVE CPR

2.) she was in an residential community, not a nursing home. The policy is NOT to begin CPR. The residents and their families know this and are cool with it.

3.) the dispatcher is totally wrong. You don't do CPR on someone who is breathing; you don't do CPR on a patient who has a DNR and you follow the protocols of your facility.

The dispatcher should have her ass sued off of her for giving that call to the media. She's clearly not competent either in her knowledge or her judgment.

by Anonymousreply 5803/05/2013

If she had a DNR, why wouldn't that be mentioned in the news report?

Sensationism is one thing; outright lie by without factual part of the story is another.

by Anonymousreply 5903/05/2013

[quote]If she had a DNR, why wouldn't that be mentioned in the news report?

Because the media thought it had a sensational story on its hands that would appeal to the hysterics among us. They were right.

Hysterics (DL or otherwise) thrive on not knowing the facts so they can rush to judgment.

by Anonymousreply 6003/06/2013

I ain't makin' out with no 85yo woman.

by Anonymousreply 6103/06/2013

DNR.

by Anonymousreply 6203/06/2013

The dispatcher is insane. "Hand the phone to a passerby"?

The employee was following protocol. Call 911. Not "Start CPR." She called 911. The dispatcher was out of line telling her to hand the phone to a passerby to start CPR and I hope she is fired for publicizing this nonsense.

by Anonymousreply 6303/06/2013

In hindsight the dispatcher didn't know this was assisted living. She could have thought it was a nursing home.

Plus she didn't know the age of the person or that their was a DNR.

Had she known all of the facts, maybe she wouldn't have been that hysterical.

by Anonymousreply 6403/06/2013

The family isn't suing because they're waiting for the woman's million dollar inheritance to keep them rolling in dough.

by Anonymousreply 6503/06/2013

[quote] In hindsight the dispatcher didn't know this was assisted living. She could have thought it was a nursing home.

The dispatcher should have determined that before she released the tape to the media. She's obviously the one who sent it to a news org -- how else would the media have gotten hold of it? There are bazillions of 911 calls made every day.

by Anonymousreply 6603/06/2013

wow, I'd be conflicted

by Anonymousreply 6703/08/2013

Dispatchers do not release 911 calls!

It is not up to them.

The old lady was not living in an assisted living facility. She lived in an independent living facility and that's why there is no medical help. It is as if you are living in your own apartment except that you have a cafeteria in your building. Nobody is there to dress you, bathe you or help you with medications. You are on your own.

When you are in an independent living facility, you do not get ANY medical help. Including CPR if you choke on your chicken nuggets or have a heart attack.

by Anonymousreply 6803/08/2013
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