Worker Who Refused to Perform CPR on Leave

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. The parent company of a Bakersfield senior living facility where a staff member refused to perform CPR  said the employee is on voluntary leave while the case is being investigated.

“This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents,” Brookdale Senior Living said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living owns Glenwood Gardens, where a staff member who identified herself as a nurse refused to give 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless CPR as directed by a Bakersfield fire dispatcher, who begged her to do so.

The staff member said it was against the facility’s policy for staff to do so, according to a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department. Bayless died Feb. 26.

Initially, Glenwood Gardens said the staff member followed protocol.

“In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community, our practice is to immediately call emergency personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives,” Jeffrey Tome, executive director of Glenwood Gardens, said in a statement.

“That is the protocol we followed,” he said. “As with any incident involving a resident, we will conduct a thorough internal review of this matter.”

The staff member, who has not been identified, was “serving in the capacity of a resident services director, not as a nurse,” said Christopher Finn, a regional director of operations for Brookdale Senior Living.

Glenwood Gardens “is an independent living facility, which by law is not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents,” Finn said in a statement.

Bayless’ family said in a statement to the Associated Press that they do not plan to sue Glenwood Gardens.

Family members said they regret that “this private and personal time has been escalated by the media,” according to the AP.

The 911 tape has garnered widespread attention and prompted an investigation by the Bakersfield Police Department.

“Our family knows that Mom had full knowledge of the limitations of Glenwood Gardens and is at peace,” the family’s statement read.

The Bakersfield property has multiple buildings with different state licenses. One is licensed by the state Department of Public Health as a skilled nursing facility and is able to provide medical care.

Another is licensed by the Department of Social Services as an assisted living facility, which does not provide medical care but assists with daily tasks.

Another portion of Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility, which is not licensed by the state, does not provide medical care and operates like an apartment complex for senior citizens.

Glenwood Gardens officials have said Bayless lived in that building.

Los Angeles Times

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  • Mark Justice

    Something to think about when choosing a retirement home….first aid. What if you’re choking…no Heimlich? What if you’re direct pressure? Too bad we’re all hesitant to do the right thing for fear of repercussions.

    • Flightmedic145

      Yes please do, it is a must. I wasn't informed of this. My family was fully under the impression that they would do this be cause it wasn't ever told to us that they wouldn't. Where we goofed is we didn't ask. So ask!

  • Metapy

    What goes around comes around. There will be a day when said nurse needs attention, and she should recieve the same attention that was given in this incident.

  • aag56

    Hope someone brings criminal charges against these people. At the mimium involuntary manslaughter. They are nurses for gods sakes–what is wrong with these people.

  • Donna12378

    I'm sure that any family member that brought their loved one to this facility had the expectation that such care would be implemented when needed. But hey, what do you expect for (probably) $8-$10K a month in boarding? Shame on this place – whatever their excuses are!

  • getreal19783

    This woman calls herself a "NURSE"? Outraged!! Families put their loved ones in facilities to get
    care and support. I hope the family gets everything out of this facility and this woman!!

    • Flightmedic145

      In most of these facilities their care staff are not nurses even though they say they are. Alot of them are not even CPR certified. It isn't required by alot of them since they won't help you with it even if they were certified.

  • James

    They should have had oxygen available at the nursing home. CPR to an old person who is dying, ain't no way ever anyone should do that, including a nurse.

  • Flightmedic145

    Ok I just put some info in a comment I just tried to post and they deleted it. BS!!! Anyways I will keep this short and sweet. This very thing happened to my own mother. Almost the same exact story. I am a paramedic in the city that this happened in. I was able to investigate this issue and was very surprised with all I found out. Please ask the facilities where you have loved ones or are placing a loved one. Ask them do the perform CPR if they go into cardiac arrest. I'll bet you that they will say know but we call 911 imediately. Well it only takes 4-6 mins from the time your heart stops till brain death occurs without CPR.

  • James

    Maybe I am not up on current CPR these days, but mouth to mouth resuscitation, to an old dying person. Ain't no way, and I wouldn't expect anyone to do that to me.

  • paulettemotzko

    My well thought out comment was just deleted by the moderator of this site. I guess someone moderates the comments here and I guess here on KTLA it isn't America to have freedom of speech, even though I didn't say anything offensive.
    I will not visit this site again and deal with Channel 2 or 7 where they allow intelligent people to speak their mind.

    Paulette Le Pore Motzko

  • KKLS2

    This is an excellent example of why, regardless of age, all should decide – while mental and physical capabilities are still intact – as to what and individual's end of life choices are. Durable Powers of Attorney, Medical Powers of Attorney, Do Not Resuscitate orders(DNR's), Living Wills, etc. are absolutely necessary to have and keep copies with you and in the facility records that they are in when caring for loved ones.

    It may sound cruel but until you work in with the aged, you have no idea how many pleas for "just let me die" you hear and not very often do you find someone in such facilities who even feel they have a purpose to live.

    Regardless, the policy would have been part of the written contract (my uncle's facility contract was about 32 pages worth) and the individual or their Power of Attorney would have had to sign the contract upon admission – including the agreement to this and many other provision, so they cannot be held liable.

  • Anonymous

    The sad part is the Ignorant nursing home nurse makes twice as much money as the highly trained ALS EMS crew that came to try to resuscitate this resident. Not saying there is lots of nurses out there that deserve what they make, but EMS is not paid near enough. Please stand up for your local EMS heroes. If you are in a life threaten situation do you want a nurse or paramedic??? Just saying……

    • Roger

      She followed the policies of the employer, who probably carries the liability insurance in case there is a lawsuit. To go against those policies might have removed that protection.

      There are some important issues involved here that the story didn't go into.
      The patient may not have wanted heroic measures taken.
      There may have been other health issues.
      Also, anyone that's done CPR on elderly patients knows it results in broken ribs and I've seen punctured lungs. Without knowing the patients underlying health and wishes it's best to wait for the rest of the story.

      We're only getting one side, the side that makes news and will get the attention of the viewer. But end of life issues are never this cut and dried.

      • WTE

        I would have tried to save the persons life. I value life, I have perrfomed CPR many times on eldery and know ribs can be broken and in one case they were. The life was saved and I was thanked afterwards by the patient and the family.

        "Without knowing the patients underlying health and wishes it's best to wait for the rest of the story. "

        Then why did you comment?

  • thomasmc1957

    Next ad: " Do you have a parent you absolutely despise? Can't wait to get your hands on your inheritance? Bring them to Glenwood Gardens! We guarantee you the absolute shortest wait legally possible."

    WWJD? Read Luke 10:30-37

  • Russell Nurse

    Brookdale is a pack of money hungry, Billion dollar idiots! I tried to work for them, but could not trust the staff. They should be fined and sued by the woman’s family for 1 Billion Dollars. Hm hm

  • Russell Nurse

    First she’s a nurse, then she’s not? If she was Resident Care Director. she WAS the nurse. I was one, for Brookdale, and I found unethical staff and med errors. I resigned or was forced to. 5 th worst company in US, in recent Wall St Journ. Pitiful Billion dollat makers. Sue them for 1 Billion Dollars!!!!

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