What should she have done???

12 messages
24/03/2013 at 23:42

CPR is an acronym that stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation. CPR is an emergency procedure in which a medical professional or Good Samaritan gets the heart and lungs of a victim working again by compressing the chest by hand and forcing air into the lungs.

A few weeks ago - in March 2013 a Qualified Nurse who worked a Care Home in the States dialled 911 because a 87 year  female client had collapse onto the floor.  She dialled 911 for the Ambulance crew to attend to the client o do Cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  But the Dispatcher said you are a Nurse and I could tell you what to do.  The Nurse explained that it is against her work policy to perform CPR onto any of her clients.

The Dispatcher said I don't understand that.... okay get somebody else

The Nurse I can't  are the Ambulance coming.....

The Dispatcher said  there they are on their way.....


 When the Ambulance arrived at the Care Home the female client was pronounce dead.

This has caused a big hoo haa in the USA.

Edited: 24/03/2013 at 23:44
24/03/2013 at 23:44

Police have launched an investigation after a US nurse refused pleas by an emergency call operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman - who later died.

The nurse has been defended by bosses at the Californian retirement home, following the death there of the woman named in reports as Lorraine Bayless, 87.

At the beginning of the emergency call, the nurse - who did not give her full name - asked for paramedics to come and help the woman, who had collapsed in the home's dining room and was barely breathing.

Dispatcher Tracey Halvorson can be heard in a recording of the call pleading for the nurse to perform CPR.

After several refusals Ms Halvorson asks her to find a resident, a gardener or anyone not employed by the home to get on the phone, take her instructions and help the woman.

"Is there anybody that's willing to help this lady and not let her die," Ms Halvorson says on the 911 recording released by the Bakersfield Fire Department.

"Not at this time," said the nurse, who added that the home's rules prevented her from giving medical help to the woman.

"Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?" Ms Halvorson went on.

"Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her."

Ms Bayless was later declared dead at Mercy Southwest Hospital, officials said.

Bakersfield Polce said they were investigating whether there had been any criminal wrongdoing.

The executive director of Glenwood Gardens, Jeffrey Toomer, defended the nurse's actions, saying she had followed policy.

He said in a statement: "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.

"That is the protocol we followed."

Mr Toomer offered condolences to the woman's family and said a "thorough internal review" of the incident would be conducted.

He told KGET-TV that residents are informed of the policy and agree to it when they move in.

He said the policy does not apply at the adjacent assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation , is a first-aid technique involving chest compressions and sometimes rescue breaths that can be used if a person is not breathing properly or if their heart has stopped.

All states in the US have versions of the Good Samaritan Law, which grants immunity to those administering CPR in good faith.

In California, it is granted to those trained in CPR and "who in good faith, renders emergency CPR at the scene of an emergency," those who provide such training, and those who provide instruction.

However, the law is vague as to whether "non-certified" responders are granted immunity protection when administering CPR.

24/03/2013 at 23:48



If she had performed CPR onto the dying lady she would loss her job.  Which may or may not have saved  the female client's life.



By she refusing to perform the CPR  onto  the dying lady it has caused her professional judgement as Nurse to be highly  criticised   The women family could have sued the Nurse or Care home - but they did not.



So what was the right thing to do?



Edited: 25/03/2013 at 00:10
25/03/2013 at 05:47

Its the USA, Its about the money.

The right thing to do in this case is who gets paid, who gets sued.

If the nurse had performed CPR and the patient lived then nothing. If the patient had died even after CPR then its odds on that the relatives would be searching for some way to turn a profit so would have sued the nurse.

That's the way of the country of litigation. 

25/03/2013 at 08:17
Who gives a toss about the screwed up system in the States ?

Shouldn't they have checked the woman's insurance first anyway ?
25/03/2013 at 08:43

The right thing to do was to have performed CPR. If the nurse or anyone else honestly thinks they can argue any differently then they are inhuman, or bonkers, or both.


25/03/2013 at 08:46
Is the care home employing her as a member of staff or as a nurse? I'm a para medic and we are employed as that. Two different things in employment law?
25/03/2013 at 09:38
Screamapillar wrote (see)

The right thing to do was to have performed CPR. If the nurse or anyone else honestly thinks they can argue any differently then they are inhuman, or bonkers, or both.


You have to remember that this incident occurred in the 'land of the free', (well 99% of them are free, the rest are in jail)

25/03/2013 at 09:45

I will be looking into this.... but, just a thought, the resident may have had a 'living will'. The text states that the residents have agreed to this policy not to resuscitate. In the UK you can have a 'living will' (treatment escalation form or 'do not resuscitate' order) where you can 'refuse' to be given CPR this is something that can be agreed between the patients GP, carers, family and other interested parties. If you know about the 'living will' and perform CPR anyway you are in serious trouble. Obviously, if you do not reasonably know about it then you are OK. This could be the answer but it does not explain why they called 911???

As far as your 'duty' to an unconscious patient, if you have a duty of care, you have a duty to do what is reasonable given the circumstances, you are unlikely to do  perfect resuscitation under any circumstances especially on your own with no kit. If you do not have a duty of care you do not have to do anything at all.

BUT learning basic CPR is not complicated. Do not wait for a friend, family member or even a stranger to collapse before you are convinced to learn!

27/03/2013 at 07:56
To stand by and watch someone die, knowing that there is a good chance that you could save them is disgusting.
27/03/2013 at 08:54

There are a few more stories on this; they confirm what I thought above that the Lorraine Bayless had a 'living will' meaning she did not want to be resuscitated 



This is not a straightforward thing to do and needs to be done carefully and with discussions with the patient and normally their GP or other Dr. It is fairly common with people who are terminally ill or who's quality of life is seriously impaired.

Here is a link to more information on the subject;


If a patient makes this decision and it is considered reasonable their decision should be respected.


27/03/2013 at 11:43
Nick Windsor 4 wrote (see)
Surrey Runner wrote (see)
To stand by and watch someone die, knowing that there is a good chance that you could save them is disgusting.

Totally agree no rules should stand in the way of doing what you can

Even if the person is in pain, terminally ill, likely to die in the next few days or weeks and regardless of the fact that the person has made a considered decision with the agreement of their GP that they do not want to be saved?

Or put another way;



By resuscitating me, they would be bringing me back from the dead only for me to have to go through it again

Frances Polack (a retired nurse) who had a, "Do not resuscitate" tattoo put on her chest!



Edited: 27/03/2013 at 11:58

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