UK & World News
CPR Refusal Death: Police Investigate Nurse
Police have launched an investigation after a US nurse refused pleas by an emergency call operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman - who later died.
The nurse has been defended by bosses at the Californian retirement home, following the death there of the woman named in reports as Lorraine Bayless, 87.
At the beginning of the emergency call, the nurse - who did not give her full name - asked for paramedics to come and help the woman, who had collapsed in the home's dining room and was barely breathing.
Dispatcher Tracey Halvorson can be heard in a recording of the call pleading for the nurse to perform CPR.
After several refusals Ms Halvorson asks her to find a resident, a gardener or anyone not employed by the home to get on the phone, take her instructions and help the woman.
"Is there anybody that's willing to help this lady and not let her die," Ms Halvorson says on the 911 recording released by the Bakersfield Fire Department.
"Not at this time," said the nurse, who added that the home's rules prevented her from giving medical help to the woman.
"Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?" Ms Halvorson went on.
"Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her."
Ms Bayless was later declared dead at Mercy Southwest Hospital, officials said.
Bakersfield Polce said they were investigating whether there had been any criminal wrongdoing.
The executive director of Glenwood Gardens, Jeffrey Toomer, defended the nurse's actions, saying she had followed policy.
He 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 to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives.
"That is the protocol we followed."
Mr Toomer offered condolences to the woman's family and said a "thorough internal review" of the incident would be conducted.
He told KGET-TV that residents are informed of the policy and agree to it when they move in.
He said the policy does not apply at the adjacent assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.
CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, is a first-aid technique involving chest compressions and sometimes rescue breaths that can be used if a person is not breathing properly or if their heart has stopped.
All states in the US have versions of the Good Samaritan Law, which grants immunity to those administering CPR in good faith.
In California, it is granted to those trained in CPR and "who in good faith, renders emergency CPR at the scene of an emergency," those who provide such training, and those who provide instruction.
However, the law is vague as to whether "non-certified" responders are granted immunity protection when administering CPR.
what do you think?
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Preserving company policy is obviously more important than preserving human life.
Following protocol?!!?!......I tell you something, if it came down to saving a life and losing my job due to not following "protocol", I'd sleep easier at night knowing I'd saved a life................
Sick, it is all about the cash.... Take her money and treat her like dirt. Like all profit making business it is all about the flow of clients and the quick turn around. A profit making business does not belong in the care of the elderly. We have a duty to look after the old people because at one point they were the one's looking after us. They deserve respect. RIP!
dont rescusitate me at 87 thankyou.
If the haven't signed the dnr form then they shud be given CPR.... I personally would have done it. it would haunt me for the rest of my life if I didn't try n help especially when there was a medical person on the phone saying what to do... what is wrong with this world never mind protocol use your head... deep down people know what's right and wrong.... dreadful!
Unfortunately in these days if something goes wrong and the patient is saved but is injured in the process then they are liable to be sued for millions of dollars. The same thing can happen here in England. That's why they have these policies.
d and d Phillips
In America it's all about money! That's what they were probably thinking about!
Bogged down with policies and procedures !!!! A life is so precious . It's a big thing to have on her conscious . I hope she can live with that guilt as I couldn't !!!!!
She was 87. She probably had enough anyway
It seems the nurses job was to oversee death not to save life. Similar to whats happening over here.
Probably more to do with the possibility of being sued by the womans family. You know what the yanks are like.
Surly She's a nurse by title and not by qualifications because this is disgusting.
This is what happens in a society that has allowed the legal proffession to create a situation whereby you can be subjected to a law suit for the most trivial reasons. You reap as you sow.
Yes when is she going to be arrested and charged with manslaughter? Euthanasia is being dealt out in hospitals in the UK under the guise of the Liverpool Pathway. They can kill us and get away with it but we can't do it to ourselves in times of dire need! Ageism is alive and well in hospitals across the UK.
only in america! no i don't think so, nurses, doctors, teachers, social workers, you name it, they all take the good pay and hide behind 'protocol', how many babies and children have died because social workers and others have said 'we were following policy' we werent allowed to do what any sensible, caring person would do' . shame on them all!
Why is she a nurse. Very odd rule. But welcome to America's sueing culture.
if there was a dnr order in place, the nurse did the right thing. what was the quality of life for the lady. why would you put an old lady like that through cpr,she might of been very frail. she went peacefully what i can see.
People who we look to for help in times such as these are hiding behind rules & regulations to safeguard themselves from litigation should something go wrong with their efforts. A sad state of affairs but those who have fuelled the compensation culture bear much responsibility for this. Remember the slogan we hear so often in tv ads, "Where there's blame there's a claim" This persons death is the result