See original thread (posting here with permission):
I was recently terminated because I failed to initiate CPR on a patient who had been expired for about 40 minutes. Administration informed me it was "policy" or protocol even though there was not chance of reviving the patient.
Has anyone experienced this type of situation before? The incident was reported to my State Board and I am waiting to hear.
Others thoughts would be appreciated.
The patient was found by the nurse assigned to her, an LPN who
reported this to the RN. The death was not expected.
The RN involved was a new clinical supervisor to the facility.
In answer to "why a facility has this policy", I was informed if a RN fails to initiate CPR/code blue, then the RN is acting as a physician by determining that death has actually occured and this act is not in the scope of a nurse's practice.
Replying to the other question of "how did I know the patient had been expired for 40 minutes", the resident guessed this to be the case and even informed my manager that there was no chance of reviving the patient. He did not want the facility to terminate me when he was informed that would happen.
Also, when I checked the patient, she was what we call "stone cold dead."
Am posting this here as a discussion springboard.
How many nurses are aware of their facilities/employers position on initiating CPR on a patient found "stone cold dead"/ stiff?
What would you have done in this situation?
Are you legally allowed to pronounce death in your state, and if so, under what circumstances?
In the hospitals I've worked, in PA, expectation is to CODE ALL PATIENTS unless explicit code status ordered.
Under home care, same expectation. I DID come across patient dead 30 min after arrived in home(cared first for spouse). Patient stiff; death not anticipated. Immediately called PCP who told me not to call 911 but notify coroner (outcome long story already posted on here).
RN's are allowed in PA to pronounce death when death expected/anticipated.
Some interesting PA statues:
21.13. Resuscitation and respiration.
External cardiac resuscitation and artificial respiration, mouth-to-mouth, are procedures regulated by this section, and these functions may not be performed unless both of the following provisions are met:
(1) External cardiac resuscitation and artificial respiration, mouth-to-mouth, shall only be performed by a nurse on an individual when respiration or pulse, or both, cease unexpectedly.
(2) A nurse may not perform external cardiac resuscitation and artificial respiration, mouth-to-mouth, unless the nurse has had instruction and supervised practice in performing the procedures.