What a joke. Sounds like the final goal of Tom Daschle and/or Logan’s run. A policy not to protect and defend your fellow man. The 911 call received by the Bakersfield Fire Department emergency services dispatcher has resulted in outrage and a Bakersfield Police Department investigation. Talk about elderly abuse.
The February 26th call for emergency services was answered by dispatcher Tracy Halvorson, who during the longer than seven minute phone call pleaded for the unconscious and shallow breathing 87 year old assisted living facility resident to be given CPR.
The nurse on the other end of the call has sparked complete outrage by advocacy groups for the elderly, after refusing to perform CPR for 87 year old Lorraine Bayless, who collapsed in the dining room of the retirement facility.
Halvorson pleaded for the nurse to begin CPR or find someone that would, since she said it was against their policy. The nurse said there was no one at that time that would perform CPR on the woman.
During the entire 911 call that lasted 7 minutes and 16 seconds Halvorson told the nurse calling from the facility that the woman would die, if CPR was not started immediately. She begged her at one point to get a passerby, a gardener or anyone to start CPR.
On the arrival of the Bakersfield Fire Department emergency personnel, Bayless was no longer breathing or had a pulse. She was transported to Mercy Southwest Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Glenwood Gardens executive director Jeffery Toomey said the policy of the assisted living facility, when there is an emergency for nurses to call 911 for emergency medical personnel to provide services. He said the nurse followed protocol in the situation.
According to Bakersfield Police Department spokeswoman Michaela Beard, there has been an investigation launched to determine if there was any criminal wrongdoing on the part of the independent living facility, in the way they handled the residents need for immediate medical attention.
The death of 87 year old Bayless has prompted advocates to call for legislation to prevent what happened at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield from happening again. Assembly woman Mariko Yamada, chair of the California Assembly of Aging and Long-term Care Committee said that she is sad that it took a tragedy of this nature to make people aware.
She said, while it is not clear that CPR would have saved the 87 year olds life, we need to investigate, since it of great concern.California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform founder Pat McGinnis said that independent living facilities should not have a policy that says employees can stand there and watch someone die. McGinnis said how a nurse was able to do that is beyond comprehension.
She said during all her years of advocacy she has never seen anything like this occur before. California Board of Registered Nursing that licenses health care providers spokesman Russ Heimerich said that it is unclear if the woman that identified herself as a nurse to the 911 dispatcher really is a nurse.
Heimerich said that if the woman was a nurse and at work as a nurse, then she should have been offering the appropriate medical care to the 87 year old woman. Glenwood Gardens executive director Jeffery Toomer, offered condolences to the family and said in a written statement that the nurse was following protocol.
Dr. Susan Leonard a geriatrics expert at the University of California, Los Angeles said these facilities are like apartments for seniors, where they basically live on their own and only some basic services are provided by the nursing staff. These are independent residents that only need help with transportation to doctor’s appointments and things of that nature.
Vice President Greg Crist of the American Health Care Association said staff members are required to do CPR, unless there is a do-not-resuscitate order. According to Bakersfield Fire Department Battalion Chief Anthony Galagza Lorraine Bayless did not have an order in place.