Don’t Count on Receiving CPR at the Assisted Living Center, Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses to Give CPR
As many elderly can no longer care for themselves or find themselves lonely they may end up in an assisted living facility. These facilities offer all kinds of amenities, but saving someone's life may not be part of the deal. Sadly, the family of one California woman recently found out life-saving first-aid is not always included.
An 87-year old woman at the Glenwood Gardens retirement home stopped breathing on February 27, 2013. A nurse at the facility called 911 at about 11am to get help from paramedics, like most people would do in a life-threatening emergency. When asked to perform CPR the nurse refused.
Glenwood Gardens in California sent the family their condolences and said, “practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives.” Despite being told by the dispatcher to perform CPR the nurse refused and no one else would come to the woman's aid.
The dispatcher tells the woman after reminding her liability would not fall on her,
"I understand if your boss is telling you you can't do it, but ... as a human being ... you know … is there anybody that's willing to help this lady and not let her die?"
The nurse replies,
"Not at this time."
Later on in the call the dispatcher asks,
"Is there a gardener? Any staff … anyone who doesn't work for you? Anywhere? Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady? Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her."
Paramedics arrived several minutes later and rushed the woman to the hospital. She was later pronounced dead. Under California common law, according to FindLaw.com, it is not legally required to save the life of another person. The only exception is if there is a 'special relationship' like sibling, spouse or parent.
The 911 tape has been made public thanks to the Bakersfield Fire Department. The director of Glenwood Gardens said, "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.”
Apparently the facility could care less if help arrives in time to save your life. Although the facility does boast a library, ice cream parlor, computers, multiple floor plans and a private dining/event area.
Bakersfield Police are now investigating to see if there was any criminal wrongdoing. The police aren't saying much at this time. Bakersfield Police have no jurisdiction when it comes to morals.