911 operator fights to help patient, nurse refuses to perform CPR

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A retirement home in Bakersfield, California is defending one of its nurses who refused to perform CPR on an elderly woman.

The woman later died, despite desperate requests for help from a 911 operator.

A nurse from Glenwood Gardens Retirement home called 911 last week after the 87-year-old woman collapsed in the dining room.

She was unconscious and barely breathing.

The nurse told the operator she was not allowed to perform CPR, insisting it’s company policy to call 911 and wait with the resident for paramedics to arrive.

During the call, the 911 operator becomes so frustrated with the nurse she asks her to pass the phone to anyone willing to help.

The fire department arrived about seven minutes after the call was first made.  The woman was taken to the hospital where she later died.

Jeffrey Toomer, the Executive Director of the home, tells KGET TV it’s the policy of Glenwood Gardens that staff does not attempt CPR.

He said the policy is in place because it’s not a nursing facility, it’s an independent living facility.

There are no nurses on staff to provide assistance and residents are made aware of this when they move into the building.

Toomer issued a statement that said in part, “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.  As with any incident involving a resident, we will conduct a thorough internal review of this matter, but we have no further comments at this time.”

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