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Staff At Senior Living Home Refused to Provide CPR for Dying Woman

By Daniel @ LivingSenior - July 10, 2013

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The staff at a Bakersfield senior living facility recently refused to provide CPR on a woman who was dying. 911 tapes from the incident have shown that the operator was trying to get the staff to help a dying 87 year old woman by encouraging them to perform CPR, but the staff refused. The incident happened last Tuesday at the Glenwood Gardens facility, with the woman eventually dying at a hospital nearby. The incident has brought up countless concerns for those who are currently dealing with a loved one living at an independent senior care facility.

During the call, the 911 dispatcher asks, “Are we just going to wait and let this lady die?” and a nurse at the facility replies by saying, “Well, that’s why we’re calling 911.” At this point, the 911 dispatcher had said, “We need to get CPR started.” And the nurse replied, “They’re refusing CPR. They’re going to let her just die.” The dispatcher then proceeds to beg for the nurse to help, though the nurse explains that it’s essentially against the policy of the facility to allow staff to provide CPR. Upon gaining this information, the 911 dispatcher appears not to believe or agree with the statement, responding “I understand your boss is telling you that you can’t do it but if there’s anybody, a human being, I don’t… is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?” As the tape continues, the nurse only replies “Um, not at this time.”

The executive director of Glenwood Gardens says that its policies are not to provide medical care for the people who are residing at the facility. In a statement that they provided to CBS2 News, the facility says “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.”

The state considers Glenwood Gardens to be a ‘skilled nursing facility’ and this means that although the facility may have different policies, there are state and federal obligations which must be met. Therefore, the facility may experience numerous lawsuits and criminal charges as a result of the situation.

The daughter of the dead woman from the facility noted that her mother had been at the facility for around three years and that she believed that she was generally in good care. She also referenced that she believed that even if her mother had of received CPR during the incident, she does not believe that her mother would have survived. However, for many families who have a loved one who is residing at these types of locations, there is now a new level of concern regarding the overall care of their loved ones in an emergency situation.

It should be noted that in instances where DNR requests are made, CPR will not be given. However, in this particular case, a DNR has not specified as the reason behind or fueling the incident.