Nurse refused to give CPR

  1. "Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died"

    Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died [updated] | L.A. NOW | Los Angeles Times

    Have you guys seen this? It's quickly making national news. What would you do in this situation? Also, in your experience is it common for assisted living facilities to not administer CPR and to wait for 911 responders?
    Last edit by Joe V on Apr 3, '18
  2. Visit wanderlust99 profile page

    About wanderlust99, BSN

    Joined: May '08; Posts: 802; Likes: 951
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in ICU/PACU


  3. by   limaRN
    That is very interesting.. The company admitted it is their policy to call 911 and wait with the resident. So technically the nurse followed company policy. It seems as if you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. However, I can't understand as a nurse that you could just sit there and not do CPR... That would be very hard for me.
  4. by   jadelpn
    I am not sure why they have nurses on staff at the facility then. Anyone could wait with a resident and do nothing until help arrives. But a nurse is bound by her license to do something. There must be more to this story--perhaps the resident was a DNR and hopefully the nurse had a copy of that in hand? In any event, as a nurse that is restricted in scope, and in between a rock and a hard place as far as my license and ethical duties vs. company policy I am not sure that I would be the least bit comfortable with a job like that.
  5. by   morte
    If their clientele know this rule, and still sign on the dotted line, it is what it is. And you need to be asystolic and not breathing for CPR, yes?
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 3, '13
  6. by   GucciBeaR143
    I just saw/heard that on the news. Both 911 operator & nurse just sounded super stressed trying to get their point across. Hope more background story comes forth in the coming days.
    The newscaster stated the daughter of deceased had no complaints.
  7. by   roser13

    Apparently, per facility protocol, this nurse called EMS for an elderly woman in respiratory distress, then flat-out refused to administer CPR or to even hand the phone to someone who was willing to initiate it.

    The patient died.

    I think I'm still in shock after hearing the 911 call. Thoughts?
  8. by   RNperdiem
    Until I know all the facts, it is hard to decide what to believe.
    There is more missing in this story than what is being told.
  9. by   CannondaleRN
    The article does not mention a DNR which is the most important aspect of the story. CPR seldom works anyway, it just prolongs the inevitable. Death comes to us all no matter what.
  10. by   netglow
    I agree. Really most of the time, it doesn't matter who actually was involved, they will call that person "a nurse". Could have been a housekeeper for all we know.

    Assisted living facilities, really often have no medical at all. All they supposedly promise is someone will "look after you" - which means like a neighbor (not even that) doing a well-being check. Have you been eating, etc., did you fall in your bathroom - they'll call 911 for you, etc. Often it's up to the person living there to get their own care upgraded in some way eg move into a nursing home if need be. IMHO, people assume a lot more than those places ever intend to offer residents. Far too often they are just an expensive scam.
  11. by   limaRN
    It does mention at the bottom that the resident did not have a DNR order.
  12. by   DoGoodThenGo
    Just saw this on Good Morning America and while the 911 operator sounded frantic the nurse in question was cool as ice.

    Each time the 911 operator asked her to perform CPR the nurse said "no", when asked if she would find anyone else at the facility to perform CPR on the lady again the response was "no", and "we are not allowed to perform CPR on residents". The 911 operator grows increasingly fustrated and desparate asking if the nurse would pass the telephone to a passerby, anyone on the street, *anyone* that they could instruct on how to perform CPR to "keep this lady from dying" and again the response was "no".

    Nurse Refuses to Perform CPR on Dying Woman at Retirement Home | KTLA 5
  13. by   roser13
    Quote from RNperdiem
    Until I know all the facts, it is hard to decide what to believe.
    There is more missing in this story than what is being told.
    Listen to the 911 call. The woman called herself a nurse (although we all know how that goes) and she literally refused multiples times to even hand the phone to a passer-by (there was one) who might have been willing to initiate CPR.

    For the "nurse's" sake, I hope she really doesn't have a license to lose.
  14. by   LadyFree28
    The Article stated the woman wasn't DNR. And if someone is not adequately breathing, starting CPR is the best outcome; breathing I adequately=lack of O2----> Start CPR per new AHA guidelines...100bpm per the tune of "Staying Alive".

    THIS is truly sticky, AND awful!!! The article had enough in it for me to surmise that the facility policy was in place, however, the nurses license would've protected her; she didn't want to lose her job, I'm guessing, but was hoping that they would get there in time. 911 had their hands tied, they could jump through the phone and save the lady.

    The policy is an awful one. I'm wondering what is to come from the aftermath of the investigation, from the state's health department.