An elderly woman dies after the retirement home she lived in refused to give her CPR.
One of the staff nurses at Glenwood Gardens retirement home called 911 to report that 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless was only taking one breath every 15 seconds.
Tracey Halvorson, the 911 dispatch operator, told the nurse that she will need to perform CPR on Bayless. The nurse told Halvorson that the retirement home doesn’t allow CPR performed on its residents.
“Can anyone there do CPR? Give them the phone please … I understand if your facility is not willing,” Halvorson said during the 911 call. “But give the phone to the stranger. This woman is not breathing enough. She is going to die if we don’t get this started.”
“I understand,” the nurse replied. “I am a nurse, but I can not have our other senior citizens who don’t know CPR.”
Ten minutes after the call was placed, an ambulance arrived at the retirement home and took Bayless to the hospital. She was later pronounced dead while she was there.
According to emergency workers, there was no do-not-resuscitate order for Bayless.
After a preliminary investigation, police have not found any criminal misconduct by the retirement home.
However, Glenwood Gardens’ executive director Jeffrey Toomer defended the nurse’s actions.
“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,” Toomer said in a written statement,
“That is the protocol we followed.”
Do you think the nurse should have performed CPR? Or was following the retirement home’s procedure more important?
Listen to the full 911 call here: