An elderly woman died after staff at a senior living facility refused to perform CPR on her after she collapsed in a dining room.
On a 9-1-1 tape, a dispatcher pleads desperately with a nurse to encourage her or anyone at the facility to perform CPR on Lorraine Bayless, the 87-year-old resident who was struggling to breathe. Over seven minutes elapse between when the original call was made and paramedics arrive, but the nurse repeatedly refuses to perform CPR or have someone else on site attempt to resuscitate her. Bayless later died at a nearby hospital, according to a local NBC affiliate KGET.
The call is hard to listen to if you’re, like, a human. At one point Bakersfield Fire Dispatcher Tracey Halvorson pleads, “Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die?” And the nurse can only muster up an awfully cold, bureaucratic response: “Not at this time.”
Bayless was a resident at Glenwood Gardens, a senior living facility in a relatively well-to-do area of Bakersfield. Although there is a skilled nursing and assisted living facility at the site, Bayless lived in the “independent living” section. KGET described as an “apartment complex for seniors.” There usually aren’t nurses in this area of the facility.
What might be the weirdest twist is that no one in this story—except for the dispatcher, of course—seems at all fazed by what happened to Bayless.
Glenwood’s executive director Jeffrey Toomer confirmed that the nurse was just following orders: “In the event of a health emergency at this independent living community our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives. That is the protocol we followed.”
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Dramatic 9-1-1 Call: Nurse Refuses To Perform CPR On Collapsed Elderly Woman