Unreal 9-1-1 nightmare: Nurse refuses to save dying woman by doing CPR

‘Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?’

911-dispatcher-600-340x205[1]WND: It’s nothing short of a 9-1-1 nightmare, as an emergency dispatcher begs a nurse to perform CPR on a woman who wasn’t breathing and eventually died.

What’s shocking is the nurse not only refused to perform the CPR, she also refused to hand the cell phone to anyone else to help the dying woman.

Authorities have just released the chilling audiotape of the 9-1-1 call, where the 87-year-old woman at the Glenwood Gardens Retirement Facility in Bakersfield, Calif., was passed out on the dining-room floor.

When the dispatcher asks, “Is she breathing?” the caller replies, “‘Is she breathing?’ Barely.”

When asked to perform CPR, the nurse can be heard saying, “Yeah, we can’t do CPR at this facility.”

The dispatcher then says, “OK, then hand the phone to the passerby. If you can’t do it, I need, hand it to the passerby, I’ll have her do it. Or if you’ve got any citizens there, I’ll have them do it.”

“No, no, it’s not,” the nurse says. 

Complete audio of the 9-1-1 call can be heard here:

Raw Audio:  911 Call of Dying Woman Refused CPR…

The dispatcher said, “Anybody there can do CPR. Give them the phone, please. … This woman’s not breathing enough. She’s going to die if we don’t get this started.”

With time a crucial factor, the female dispatcher tries desperately to convince the nurse to take action, lamenting, “I don’t understand why you’re not willing to help this patient. Is there anybody that works there that’s willing to do it?”

“We can’t do that,” the nurse says. “That’s what I’m trying to say.”

“Are we just going to let this lady die?” the dispatcher says.

“Well, that’s why we’re calling 9-1-1,” the nurse replies.

“Is there a gardener … any staff? Anybody that doesn’t work for you, anywhere?” the dispatcher asks.”Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady? As a human being, I don’t, you know, is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?”

The nurse replies, “Um, not at this time.”

It was too late to save the woman by the time paramedics arrived.

“Our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives,” Jeffrey Toomer, executive director of Glenwood Gardens, said in a statement to NBC’s “Today” show. “That is the protocol we followed.”

Maribeth Bersani, of the Assisted Living Federation of America, told CBS News: “There’s no requirement that the people in the building be trained to perform CPR, so a company could state in a policy they don’t want anyone to initiate CPR.”

Jack Ford, a legal analyst for CBS, called the scenario “morally reprehensible,” and said the question involves, “a legal responsibility and legal liability.”

Raw Video: 911 Recording:  Did Liability Fears Lead to Woman’s Death?

Ford said: “What’s the agreement that this woman and her family had with this home, and … it was a residential facility, not a nursing home, assisted living. Very different if it was that. So if in their agreement they say specifically, ‘We do not provide emergency medical care. We will get somebody for you,’ then that could shield them from some problems. Then other question is, what are your reasonable expectations. When they sold this as a sales pitch, did they say, ‘Look, we have wonderful workout facilities, wonderful dining facilities and we have medical people on site here.’ Well, you know then, despite what might be in the agreement there, you have a reasonable expectation.”

As for the woman who refused to help, Ford said she was apparently told something as an employee.

“She may well be in a tough position,” he noted . “If she was told by her employers, ‘You cannot do this, if you do, you’re in violation, and you’ll lose your job.’ Now you have a woman being told, do I try to save someone’s life and by doing so, do I risk my own job for doing it. That’s why you have to look to the employers. The reality is, some states, you are starting to pass Good Samaritan laws that say you can’t be sued if you try to stop and help somebody, the reason is people sue you sometimes if you try to stop and help somebody. You have to look at the culture of society here, the litigious nature of society. It just – it’s a terrible tragedy.”

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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4 Responses to Unreal 9-1-1 nightmare: Nurse refuses to save dying woman by doing CPR

  1. Pingback: It’s A Wrap… Ask Marion – 03-10-13 | askmarion

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