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Health Procedures May Kill Some Nursing Home Patients

By Megan C @ LivingSenior - May 28, 2013

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In March of 2013 the town of Bakersfield, California became well-known for more than their scenery. A California senior independent living organization known as Glenwood Gardens, made the news with their view on CPR administration. Many people watching the news broadcasts believe that if CPR were needed in a nursing home, assisted living or long-term care environment that it would be given with no questions asked. In fact, with as many nursing staff and medical staff in any given facility it would seem almost a no-brainer that CPR would be given. However, at Glenwood Gardens this was not the case.

During several news reports it was found that an elderly resident of Glenwood Gardens was in need of CPR. The first part of this news broadcast and various other related broadcasts made sense. A nurse on staff or administration, as it is still unclear, contacted 911. They informed 911 that the woman was having issues and CPR was required. The 911 operator directed them to go ahead and give CPR while a paramedic team was on its way to the location. However, the next part of the news broadcasts are what shocked the world. The response from the caller to the 911 operator was that it was against their policy at Glenwood Gardens to administer CPR. Their policy was in fact contact 911 and to wait for paramedics to arrive. No CPR was to be given until paramedics showed up.

The problem with this news story and with the issues of Glenwood Gardens and the regulations is that Glenwood is not the only senior community in the United States with this particular regulation or guideline in effect. This is not a guideline related to a DNR order. This is a guideline the directly from the administration. This is an administrative health procedure guideline that is actually killing nursing home patients and residents. This is not the first time this is happened and after Glenwood Gardens it became very clear that this has happened repeatedly across the country.

The concept is to protect the nursing staff and the nursing home administration. But this health procedure that is protecting the administration staff is killing residents. This is especially concerning since every nurse and nurse aid must have CPR training in order to be certified in any state of the United States. This has led many people to ask if the nursing staff must be certified in CPR, why is CPR being denied. Glenwood Gardens had no response to this and neither have any of the other nursing home organizations that have faced to this issue.

The overall view is that these health procedures and guidelines are killing nursing home patients and may be causing irreversible damage to residents who happen to live until the paramedics get there. This is not what many patients, residents and families have signed on for an in fact goes against everything that one would think of when considering assisted living. This is a federal issue that has come up in federal neglect laws and is playing itself out in courts across the country.