Today Show: Assisted Living Nurse Won’t Perform CPR
An 87-year-old woman from California is dead today after an assisted living nurse would not perform CPR on the woman after she collapsed. After calling 911 and having the 911 operator pleading with the nurse to perform CPA, the nurse told her it is the policy of Glenwood Gardens to not perform CPR on a person, instead saying she is supposed to call 911 and wait for emergency medical services to arrive.
In the 911 call, which lasted seven minutes, the 911 operator can be heard pleading with the nurse to perform CPR on the woman saying “this woman’s not breathing enough, she’s going to die if we don’t get this started.” Even after the nurse said she would not perform CPR, the operator continued pleading with the nurse asking her to find someone else who could perform the CRP. She even asked the nurse to find someone outside who was willing to help but the nurse refused.
Mary Winters, an expert in senior care, told the Today Show many of the assisted living facilities in California do not perform CPR on patients. She pointed out there are many other amenities associated with assisted living facilities, such as house keeping and meals offered, but they will not perform CPR because of liability reasons.
In a statement from the assisted living facility, Glenwood Gardens, the company said they are reviewing the situation and neither the company nor the woman’s daughter think the nurse should have done anything to help the woman, instead saying she did the right thing by following the protocol.
Today Show: Moral Responsibilities Of a Nurse
The Today Show called on Star Jones and Dr. Roshini Raj to help them go over the facts of the case. Dr. Raj said it is shocking a nurse wouldn’t perform CPR on a patient who is dying. But it also turns out the woman’s daughter was aware her mother would not be given CPR, and she is happy with how the assisted living facility handled the situation. Dr. Raj said the nurse could have been worried about losing her job but there are moral obligations when someone is dying. Although CPR does not have the success rate we might think it does, according to Dr. Raj performing CPR can keep the brain alive long enough for the medical personnel to get there.
Star Jones said from a legal standpoint the facility was simply trying to limit their liability. She was certain the family laid out what they wanted for their mother, the facility limited what they could do and the two parties came to an understanding. Even when the two came to an understanding, there is still the moral obligation to help someone in need. She also pointed out the PR nightmare the assisted living facility is going to face may be worse than any sort of liability they might have faced in trying to help a person by performing CPR.
Even though the daughter seems satisfied with the nurse and the assisted living facility, Jones said she probably hasn’t talked with a lawyer yet. She pointed out the many angles attorneys could look at this case from. This could be considered elderly abuse, there are Medicaid and Medicare issues to look at, as well as many other factors. Dr. Raj also pointed out there are good samaritan laws in place protecting people from liability. If you perform CPR on someone in good faith and tried your best to save their life, you are not liable for their death.