Nurse hailed by boss for refusing CPR to dying patient

3d34cpr patient dead nurse Nurse hailed by boss for refusing CPR to dying patient

The California-based Glenwood Gardens living facility is nowdefending the actions of its nurse, claiming the woman followedpolicy in refraining from helping the old woman – even though the911 dispatcher asked her to.After the 87-year-old collapsed and struggled to breathe in thefacility dining room on Feb. 26, the nurse asked the dispatcher tosend paramedics and refused to intervene while she was waiting forthem to arrive. While on the phone with the dispatcher, the nursesaid that the Glenwood Gardens policy prohibits her fromadministering CPR.“I understand if your boss is telling you you can’t doit,” said dispatcher Tracey Halvorson, according to atranscript of the call obtained by AP. “But… as a human being…you know. Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and notlet her die?”The nurse said that no one was around to help.“Not at this time,” she told the dispatcher, whocontinued to beg the woman to break policy for the sake of savingthe old lady’s life. Halvorson said that if the nurse were toadminister CPR and fail to save the woman’s life, the localemergency medical system would “take the liability for this call”and that Glenwood Gardens could not be sued.Still, the nurse refrained from helping the 87-year-old and alsorefused to flag down staff members, neighbors or passersby to askthem to administer CPR. The transcript of the phone call shows thenurse complaining to someone else about the dispatcher.“She’s yelling at me,” the nurse could be heard in thebackground of the phone call. “And saying we have to have one ofour residents perform CPR. I’m feeling stressed, and I’m not goingto do that, make that call.”The dispatcher said if others knew about the situation, theywould have been eager to help.“I bet a stranger would help her,” Halvorson said overthe phone, begging the nurse to do more than just wait. But sevenminutes after the call was made, firefighters and paramedicsarrived at the scene, only to find the woman without a pulse. Shewas declared dead upon arriving at the Mercy Southwest Hospital inBakersfield, Calif.Now, the independent living facility has come under scrutiny forfailing to help the woman stay alive – even though nurses aretrained to administer CPR and other life-saving techniques. ButJeffrey Toomer, executive director of Glenwood Gardens, applaudedthe nurse for following policy.“In the event of a health emergency at this independentliving community our practice is to immediately call emergencymedical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individualneeding attention until such personnel arrives,” Toomer said ina written statement to AP. “That is the protocol wefollow.”Unlike nursing homes, the facility is not legally required toprovide medical aid – even though it serves a similar purpose bytaking in elderly US residents.“It’s really more like a hotel where they will offer youconcierge services, you’ll get meals, they’ll have housekeeping,they’ll change your bed, but you cant even get care,” Mary Winners,an expert on senior care, told TODAY.But while the nurse may not have been legally obliged toadminister CPR, her refusal to help has generated much discussionabout the facility’s policies and sparked a debate over the role of‘social responsibility’ where lives are at stake.“Every minute was crucial here and that’s why the dispatcherwas so desperate to start [CPR],” said TODAY contributor Dr.Roshini Raj.“The problem then becomes, are we looking at a legalresponsibility or is this a social responsibility?” addedformer prosecutor Star Jones.Regardless of ones ability to conduct CPR, good Samaritan lawsprotect Americans from lawsuits that may result from an incorrectattempt to perform CPR, which Raj believes should have convincedthe nurse to break her facility’s policy.“Even if you’re not trained in CPR, if you attempt it in goodfaith to help someone, you’re not liable,” she said.”

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Nurse hailed by boss for refusing CPR to dying patient

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