CPR refusal probe: Police are investigating an incident where a retirement home nurse refused to give CPR on an elderly woman when she collapsed and later died.
Southern California authorities are investigating a retirement home nurse’s refusal to perform CPR on an elderly woman who collapsed and later died several days ago.
Bakersfield police are looking into how staff handled the case, reported the Los Angeles Times.
According to a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department, a nurse at Glenwood Gardens tells a 911 dispatcher that it is against company policy to perform CPR on residents.
Michaela Beard, a spokeswoman for the Bakersfield Police Department, told the Times that the probe will “determine whether or not there is any criminal wrongdoing in the matter,” which includes abuse and negligence.
On the tape, the dispatcher asked: “Is there anybody there that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?” The nurse replied: “Not at this time.”
“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 dispatcher said.
The nurse replied: “She’s yelling at me,” referring to the dispatcher, “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.”
The dispatcher later said, “I bet a stranger will help her,” according to the Times.
Lorraine Bayless, 87, the elderly woman who collapsed, died at a hospital that day.
Andrea Turner, a spokeswoman for Glenwood Gardens, said the nurse followed company policy.
“Independent Living communities do not provide medical services, as they are not licensed to do so. In an emergency, staff will call 911 and then wait with the person in need of assistance. Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility which, by law, is not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents,” she said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
Arthur Caplan, the chief of the Division of Bioethics at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City, described the incident as “inexcusable.”
“You call 911, you trigger a process to do a resuscitation,” he told ABC.
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