Nurse refuses to perform CPR on dying woman

Alexandra Pleffer, ninemsn
6:18am March 4, 2013
A 911 call has revealed the shocking moment a nursing home employee in the US refused to perform CPR on a dying resident due to the facility's policies.

An elderly woman died at a US retirement home after a nurse refused to perform CPR on her, despite a 911 operator pleading with her to do so.

In audio of the emergency services call, the nurse at Glenwood Gardens in California can be heard repeatedly refusing to perform CPR on 87-year-old resident Lorraine Bayless after she collapsed on Tuesday.

The dispatcher begs the nurse to perform resuscitation until paramedics can arrive, but she insists it is against the centre's policy for staff to perform CPR and says she won't bend the rules.

"As a human being … is there anybody there that is willing to help this lady and not let her die?" the dispatcher says in the call.

But the nurse says, "not at this time".

The dispatcher appears to become increasingly desperate and urges the nurse to hand the phone to someone not employed by the centre so they can do CPR instead.

"Is there a gardener or any staff, anybody that doesn't work for you, anywhere?" she said.

"Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?"

Ms Bayless, a resident of the independent living part of the centre, was pronounced dead at hospital after collapsing and having trouble breathing at the centre, authorities said.

Glenwood Gardens said it would launch an investigation but stood by its CPR 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," it said in a written statement.

"That is the protocol we followed."

Ms Bayless' daughter, who is also a nurse, says she is satisfied with the care her mother received.

Source: ABC News, NBC Southern California

Author: Alexandra Pleffer, Approving editor: Fiona Willan

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