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Nurse Who Refused to Administer CPR Was Following Company Policy


Over the weekend, a very disturbing and troubling news story broke in Bakersfield, California involving a nurse who refused to give CPR to a dying woman. The incident occurred at the Glenwood Gardens Independent Living Home when an 87-year-old woman, Lorraine Bayless, collapsed in the dining room of the home and later died. A staff member called 911 for help, and the dispatcher asked the staffer to begin CPR. The staffer, who identified herself as a nurse, said it was against her company’s policy to administer any life saving measures.

The dispatcher told the ‘nurse’ if she did not begin CPR, Bayless would die. The ‘nurse’ repeated it was against company policy and there was nothing she could do except wait for paramedics. The dispatcher pleaded with the woman to hand the phone over to anyone who was not employed at the home, but the woman refused. When paramedics arrived, Bayless was not breathing and was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

There is now a firestorm of debate surrounding this case and how a ‘nurse’ could just stand by and watch someone die without doing anything. By the way, even though the woman identified herself as a nurse, it is not yet known if she was an actual nurse.

Nurses do not take the hippocratic oath like doctors do, but they do take an oath to help. If this woman is in fact a nurse, she could very easily lose her license and maybe even prosecuted regardless of her employer’s policies.

It should also be noted that this facility was an independent living facility and not a nursing home. Independent living facilities, at least in California, are not required to administer medical assistance and this facility says residents are made aware of this prior to moving in.

This case still raises a lot of questions, as it should. My wife is a nurse and when we saw the story on the news, she was horrified and could not believe this woman did nothing. My wife said she would have given CPR no matter what the policy says.

No criminal charges have been filed yet, but the investigation continues. There is also no evidence to show Bayless would have survived if CPR had been administered. I do believe this incident is one of these things that should prompt a big time gut check for today’s society and how we conduct ourselves. Hear the entire 911 call below.

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[Huffington Post]

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