Employee responds to company's no CPR policy

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 3/04/2013 8:34 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- Two properties in Sparks are owned by Brookdale Senior Living, the parent company of the retirement facility in Bakersfield that refused to do CPR on an elderly woman who collapsed.

Brookdale owns Wynwood of Sparks, an assisted living facility, and Villas of Sparks. an independent living community like the section of Glenwood Gardens iwhere the 87-year-old woman collapsed.

Evette Lockhart the executive director of the Villas said they don't have medical personnel on staff.

"As an independent living community, we don't provide medical services because we're not licensed to by law," Lockhart said.

"It's absolutely insane and it needs to change as soon as possible," said a Villas employee who wanted to remain anonymous to protect her job. 

She says she's seen people who've fallen lying on the ground and wasn't allowed to help them up, which she says is heartbreaking. 

"You go home at night and you can't sleep," she said. "You can't think about anything else but how that person is or what happened to them."

At Wynwood, Brookdale's assisted living facility, they would do CPR if it's what the person wanted.

Executive Director Bob Matts said. "My staff are all trained in first aid and we would provide appropriate first aid to an individual in an emergency according to their wishes."

So it seems the policy depends on the property. The Villas employee said the independent living rules violate common sense.

"It's horrific to have to make a choice like that, to choose your job over what you know is right to do as a human being," she said. 

She says she'd always choose to help.

"I wouldn't even think twice about it," she said. "I know what's right."

It's a decision she said no one should ever have to make.

News 4 talked to other local senior living centers about their policies.

Dave Schneck, executive director of Cascades of the Sierra - which has independent and assisted living and a memory care facility - said what happened in Bakersfield is disturbing and makes no sense.

Schneck says every single employee of Cascades, regardless of position, is required to be CPR certified and must renew the certification every year.

Lisa Marie Campbell, executive director of Emeritus at Reno, an assisted living facility, said all of their staff members are certified and any certified person can administer CPR as long as they've called 911.

"It is our policy to do the right thing in all circumstances, so we'll stand behind any employee who does so," Campbell said.

Renown spokeswoman Stacy Kendall said all staff at Monaco Ridge assisted living and all nursing staff at Renown Skilled Nursing are CPR certified.

"All nursing staff is required to have current life support certification so they can respond to any emergency treatment that a patient needs," Kendall said.

Schneck said all assisted living facilities in Nevada are required by the state to make sure employees who come in contact with residents are CPR certified, but those rules don't apply when it's an independent living community. 
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LASD1096 - 3/6/2013 7:45 PM
0 Votes
So, if they are just allowed to fall over and die, why did ANYONE call 911? I understand the DNR issue but why call 911 if they are not going to do anything? Maybe they should be cited for misuse of the 911 system.

soshaljustic - 3/5/2013 10:33 PM
0 Votes
...""If she's not engaged in the practice of nursing, there's no obligation (to help)," agency spokesman Russ Heimerich said. "What complicates this further is the idea that she wouldn't hand the phone over either. So that's why we want to look into it." "I would certainly hope someone would choose human life over a facility policy, said Robyn Grant, director of public policy and advocacy at the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. "That's pretty rotten." The family said it would not sue or try to profit from the death, and called it "a lesson we can all learn from." "We regret that this private and most personal time has been escalated by the media," the statement said." http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20130305_Family_Woman_denied_CPR_did_not_want_resuscitation.html___ AP Science Writer Alicia Chang contributed to this report from Los Angeles. Sorry I was not able to get the full referenced follow-up article into one piece on the stream but, it does provide much needed follow through information on this case!

soshaljustic - 3/5/2013 10:30 PM
0 Votes
...start CPR. The nation's largest trade group for senior living facilities has called for its members to review policies that employees might interpret as edicts to not cooperate with emergency responders."It was a complete tragedy," said Maribeth Bersani, senior vice president of the Assisted Living Federation of America. "Our members are now looking at their policies to make sure they are clear. Whether they have one to initiate (CPR) or not, they should be responsive to what the 911 person tells them to do." Bayless collapsed in the Glenwood Gardens dining hall on Feb. 26. Someone called 911 on a cellphone asking for an ambulance to be sent and eventually a woman who identified herself as a nurse got on the line. Brookdale Senior Living said in a statement that the woman on the 911 call was "serving in the capacity of a resident services director, not a nurse." The Tennessee-based parent company also said that by law, the independent living facility is "not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents." But it added later that it was reviewing company policies "involving emergency medical care across all of our communities." The Bayless' family said she was aware that Glenwood Gardens did not offer trained medical staff, yet opted to live there anyway. "We understand that the 911 tape of this event has caused concern, but our family knows that mom had full knowledge of the limitations of Glenwood Gardens and is at peace," the family's statement said. The death shines a light on the varying medical care that different types of elderly housing provide — differences that consumers may not be aware of, advocates say. Even if independent living homes lack trained medical staff, some say they should be ready to perform basic services such as CPR if needed. The California Board of Registered Nursing is concerned that the woman who spoke to the 911 dispatcher did not respond to requests to provide aid or to find someone who might want to help."(continued)

soshaljustic - 3/5/2013 10:10 PM
0 Votes
SACRAMENTO, Calif. >> A woman who died after a nurse at her elder home refused to provide CPR had chosen to live in a facility without medical staff and wanted to pass away without life-prolonging intervention, her family said today. Lorraine Bayless' family said in a statement to The Associated Press that it does not plan to sue the independent living facility where the 87-year-old woman died last week. A 911 tape recounts a dramatic conversation between a dispatcher and a nurse who refused to cooperate with pleas for someone to start CPR as firefighters sped to the scene. In the 7-minute, 16-second exchange, the dispatcher insisted the nurse perform CPR or find someone willing to do it. The home's parent company said in a statement that the employee wrongly interpreted company policy when she declined to offer aide. "This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents. Glenwood Gardens is conducting a full internal investigation," Brookdale Senior Living said, adding that the employee was on voluntary leave during the process. City fire officials say Bayless did not have a "do not resuscitate" order on file at the home. Her family said, however, "it was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention." Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility, and company officials say no medical staff is employed there. The woman who identified herself as a nurse to the dispatcher was employed at the facility as a resident services director, the company said. The nurse's decision has prompted multiple state and local investigations at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield. The California attorney general was "aware" of the incident, said a spokeswoman, Lynda Gledhill. Bakersfield police were trying to determine whether a crime was committed when the nurse refused to assist the 911 dispatcher looking for someone to

soshaljustic - 3/4/2013 10:40 PM
0 Votes
We do know she did not have a DNR when doing research on the issue about this lady. The question that begs to be answered is, why do medical ethics and a humane approach to living standards need to take a backseat when moving elderly into independent living communities? Would it be better for the elderly to be homeless and on the street, therein the passerby would be more humane, perchance? It may be worth it for the elderly and disabled communities to sleep out on a sidewalk and take their chances comparative to sure death in the licensed independent living home in Sparks and Reno-Quite a scary place to live!! Yikes!!!!

lindag - 3/4/2013 10:34 PM
1 Vote
i was raised in a medical family, and went on to be a nurse---even after the "be safe and wear gloves==etc went in to effect---if some one is is on the ground,, i will risk everything so that i can help save their life

Daddyooo - 3/4/2013 9:02 PM
0 Votes
If they provide medical care or say they can then they have to be Lic. plain and simple... This lady or her POA moved her in there knowing full well they do not provide medical care... its in the contract. We also don't know if she had a DNR and if she did then even if she was in a hospital they can not do cpr on her. People want people to live so bad I have seen family's loose everything keeping people on machines who end up with infections etc..
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