Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses To Do CPR- 911 Call

Submitted by: kitteh9lives 4 years ago in

The 911 dispatcher pleads with her to save the elderly woman"s life but she refuses due to policy. Story in Credit link
There are 55 comments:
Male 1,745
also CPR without an AED has a very low success rate. The number i remember from my training is 19%.
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Male 1,745
She was 87 years old, sometimes we need to say her time had come. CPR isn`t exactly a massage, you`re cracking ribs and possibly breaking them. On a frail old lady, it`s possible you make her last moments extremely painful. And if it worked? How much longer would she have? It`s not like she had her whole life ahead of her.

Now, if it was anyone young, I would be pissed. If we put age on sliding scale to determine wrongness of inaction, this woman is on the end of not terribly wrong in my book.
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Male 5,811
[quote]Understand this CPR is successful less then 30% of times even when administered by trained professionals. [/quote]
The number I last saw was that it was successful less than 5% of the time for elderly people with multiple medical problems.
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Female 1,242
I did it for 10 years and I still remember the first time someone coded on me....now I work in a dentist office and of course I don`t see codes like that anymore...but when I worked the floor when someone passed or coded, it was go time..The dentist office is still fast paced and busy but a differant type of fast paced and busy..I love this type of work.
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Male 2,389
@pinkminx22 - if you`re still getting that rush you haven`t done it long enough. It`ll pass.
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Male 2,389
@thecurt - a DNR is not a `do not call` when someone is having trouble breathing, they are not in need of resuscitation. A DNR is useless unless the person is clinically dead. Does that mean you can watch someone die who has a DNR? no. if they`re pulseless&apniec then by all means, honor the DNR. Advanced directives and such are what you`re looking for. The fact that EMS did start CPR on arrival means that there was no DNR present, and that essentially this nurse(or NA) can be held liable.
@CreamK - you need to recheck your facts. It is not against the law to not do CPR, even with Good Samaritan laws. It is however against the law and negligent if you fail on your duty to act, which is the case here.
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Female 1,242
I know what it is like when someone codes at a nursing home when they are not a DNR(been there and done that) because here comes like 15 people running with a crash cart and you better get the hell out of the way or your butt is getting ran the hell over. It`s no joke when someone is knocking on deaths door. What a rush!! I guess that`s why I`m in the medical field.
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Female 1,242
If the nursing home resident was a DNR the nurse would`ve been in such deep doodoo if she resuscitated a DNR..When a person goes down like that, it is the job of the nursing home staff to know immediatly what residents are DNR and which ones that aren`t. If a staff member screws up and performs CPR on a resident that is DNR, they are not allowed to stop once they start and they could be in a lot of trouble for giving CPR to a DNR. Now on the other hand, if the resident isn`t a DNR it is the job of the nursing staff members to do everything they can to save that persons life until paramedics get there... Most nursing facilities have what you call crash carts and they are positioned at every nurses station throughout the building.
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Female 2,761
I am assuming the lady was a DNR by the family`s response. I know there is nothing we are aware of to prove she had a DNR on file, but the family stated somewhere it was her wishes... And they aren`t suing...
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Male 1,421
That`s a crime. No matter what the facility protocol is, not helping while fully capable of doing so, is a manslaughter.
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Male 411
Why would they call 911 if the person had a DNR, though?
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Female 2,549
Just read the comments
Some of you have no concept of what a `DNR` is. These are wishes of the person, last wishes of the person that decision has been taken with
Careful thought, consultation with loved ones and a doctor. And is legally binding on the care facility.
If she had a `DNR` then the discussion is over. That 911 lady had no business pressurizing the poor care giver into a guilt trip.
I would sue if my instructions of DNR were ignored and my miserable painful exisitance was prolonged and I had to pay for the procedures.
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Male 15,832
If that were my granny, by this time next year, I`d f***ing OWN that place.
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Female 2,549
The care facility has a clear & public policy. The family is fine with the care & service they received.
Lady was old & was probably aware of `no code` policy.
You all should let it be.

Understand this CPR is successful less then 30% of times even when administered by trained professionals. For it to be effective often times you have put enough pressure to break a rib cage. And then you die anyways.

I want no code at the end of my life or even if I am in a serious accident. None what so ever. May be this old lady had that conversation with her care giver.
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Male 4,891

How can anyone simply stand there and let a little old lady die at your feet and be completely calm and fine with it? I`m not gonna comment on whether it was right or wrong legally. Just saying that I could not.
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Male 2,516
I bet the old lady had a DNR and the media just called it "following company policy" to make it sound bad (more sensational).
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Male 1,735
Some of those homes don`t have actual Registered Nurses on staff, they tend to have one to deal with meds. If that one isn`t on hand than no one is qualified and they most likely don`t want lawsuits if something goes wrong. Sucks, but most of those places do.
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Male 7,123
Ripper398,

Yeah, you`re probably right.
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Male 1,313
Well, had she saved her then she probably would have been sued for some minor issue, lost her job, and had a news story broadcasting what a terrible person she is.
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Male 2,419
LordJim, I think just about any human bieng agrees with you on principal. And yeah thank someone, a lot of countries have good sameritan laws. My understanding of american law though.. leads me to believe that your best human intentions might lead you to be paying through your nose the rest of your life if the person you gave first aid too isn`t happy with the results. That does dampen the spirit a bit.
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Male 7,123
`You decide.`

The haughty nurse exacting vengeance for her previous slights? The humbled patrician reaching out beseechingly for the meds and finding only a cold sneer? I`m seeing Barbara Stanwyck in the role.

Basically, and I mean basically, you don`t withhold help from a person in a life-threatening situation if you can safely and effectively help.

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Male 338
Every recent report I see states that there was not a "do not resuscitate" on file, only the older ones, where the facts were still being ascertained seem to suggest there was.

the story smacks of "I`m just doing my job, nothing else"...delict/tort is the airsehole of the law
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Male 2,419
Woman sued for first aid 2008

more from the case in the topic and the legal side

I`m sure there is plenty more to find, otherwise i`d ask some of our american friends as to how their perception is. I however need to nurse a rather anoying fever.
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Male 500
Eh, she was old anyways.
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Male 7,123
`AND the lady that died WANTED TO NOT be resuscitated.`

True, but there`s no need to shout. The nurses refusal to help has never been justified as a DNR response, but as following a company policy.

She was not acting in the interests of the person in her care who was in danger of death but acting in the the perceived interests of her employer.

You do see the difference, don`t you?
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Male 39,880

Me? I`m gonna be the life of the party when I`m old. I`ll be the old guy making dirty jokes, and pinching nurse`s bums.

I was just pointing out there is two sides to every coin.... either that or I was trolling when I said "let her choke". You decide.
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Male 7,123
A full minute?

And in care facilities the power differential tends to be the other way. Not always, not saying old folk can`t be annoying.

A full minute? I hope you are a very sweet old person when you are old.
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Male 68
She wasnt a real "nurse" AND the lady that died WANTED TO NOT be resuscitated.
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Male 39,880

[quote]"How the hell can you refuse to help someone who`s dieing " [/quote]
Maybe this woman was a HUGE bitch to the nurse. Maybe she was an evil old woman who made the nurse`s life a living hell every day.

In that scenario I might look at the bitch and think "let her choke".... at least for a minute.
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Male 7,123
-al cowardice.
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Male 7,123
I don`t know how it works in the US but I checked the UK and there is not one case of a first aider who has been taken to court, let alone convicted or succesfully sued.

You aren`t obliged to help a stranger in the street, but if you choose to you assume a responsibilty of care. Which means you are expected to act as a reasonable person would. You aren`t required to act as a doctor, but you`re not expected to jump up and down on them in hob-nailed boots. If somebody needs CPR (and the emergency services are telling you that they really, really do) then a cracked rib is irrelevant.

Mr Orange, do you have examples where this has happened?

But also, there are situations where you have an real duty of care and you can`t walk on by. If one of my students has a medical episode I can`t stroll off for tea and scones; I have to sort it. The police have a permanent duty of care.
I suspect that this `CPR - cracked rib - sued and ruined` idea is a myth to excuse mor
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Male 244
we can thatnk our current sue happy lawsuit slinging society for this mishap - not the business`s fault and def not the nurses fault - she just did not want to lose her job and everything else she has worked for in court - and it was probably more of an insurance clause problem than an actual business policy - sad all around
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Male 17,511
Heard about this several days ago and was outraged that this nurse did nothing. I thought all nursing homes had to have defib boxes, but apparently not.

Policy or not, human decency should`ve been the order of the day.
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Male 2,419
@skytz1337

Don`t ask me? i`m the guy who said he thought the dutch legal system was prefferable to the american one becuase of stuff like this.
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Male 5,811
[quote]Our biggest point of discussion was this `nurse` a RN, LPN or someone who wears scrubs and `calls` herself a nurse.[/quote]
Ha, yeah that was my first instinct too. My impression is that it would be the latter.

[quote]It sounds like they had a "Do Not Resuscitate" order from the woman?[/quote]
But if they had a DNR on the resident, why bother calling 911?
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Male 687
@MrOrange what sane judge/jury would blame you for saving someone`s life?
It`s like saying "No, i`m not gonna stop the bank robbery because i might get sued for assault" (yes..i know..bad example..its one thing hurting someone...its another thing SAVING SOMEONE`S LIFE!)
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Male 2,419
@skytz1337 losing your job is one thing, (though mind you. i don`t think i`d like to be out of a job in america) being sued to the high heavens and beyond is another.
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Male 687
...and that`s why some people need to be sterilized. How the hell can you refuse to help someone who`s dieing just because you might lose your job?
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Male 7,123
Oh, c`mon man. If that were the case, `your number is up, god called` then we should get rid of all medical care.

`Thou shalt not kill;
but needst not strive
Officiously to keep alive:`

(Arthur Hugh Clough, a very under-rated poet.)
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Male 39,880

A retirement home is "Waiting for God".
God called.
You wanna blame the "nurse" for not putting God on hold?

When your number`s up, your number`s up.
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Male 7,123
Gerry,
Nowadays, if you help someone, they sue you for cracking their rib or violating their rights and you get fired.`

Are you sure? I know it`s not the case in the UK, although it is a common misconception.

And if there was an actual DNR notice I`m pretty sure the facility would be waving it around.
`
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Female 4,403
dat iz f ucked up.
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Male 7,123
psychoti,

Fair play to the old lady if she didn`t want intervention, I`ll probably feel the same at that age. And good for the family for not seeking to profit.

But that doesn`t change the issue of letting a person die because of `policy`. If the `nurse` (and how do you get to call yourself a nurse if you have no medical training?) had declined to intervene out of respect for the old lady`s stated wishes that would be a different matter.

Does this policy include refusing to perform the Heimlich maneuver on someone who is choking and exhibiting every sign of not wanting to choke? (Yes, I know that the Heimlich maneuver is not the magic answer it is sometimes thought to be.)

I can see this facility losing a lot of business.

`So, you finally got your mom into a retirement community?`

`Yeah, Glenwood Gardens.`

`Oh, right. So you actually want her to die?`
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Female 2,761
I don`t agree with such foolish polices by a MEDICAL FACILITY

HOWEVER, in this particular case, it sounded like this woman was a DNR.

The facility should use this incident as a lesson to change their policy before someone who does want to be resuscitated collapses.
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Male 7,774
I hope a member of this nurse`s family is in need of the same help one day. "Intelligent" human beings, my ass.
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Male 14,331
[quote]And the dutch are evil becuase they believe in euthanasia. how about we also believe in the right not to be sued if you try and save someone`s life, and that you have a reasonable duty to try and save another person. call me crazy but i think i prefer our legal system over yours... [/quote]

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Male 8,526
@patchgrabber

I discussed this with my wife, and while we didn`t get into all the legalities she stated that in the absence of a DNR order, the nurse would be required to render aid.

Our biggest point of discussion was this `nurse` a RN, LPN or someone who wears scrubs and `calls` herself a nurse.
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Male 39,880

It sounds like they had a "Do Not Resuscitate" order from the woman?

Nowadays, if you help someone, they sue you for cracking their rib or violating their rights and you get fired. If you don`t the gov`ment wants to get you for manslaughter.

Seems like the best thing you can do is pretend you don`t see and walk away. If you call for help you will get into trouble.

I know that sounds douchebaggery... and it is, but that`s where our society has gotten. Do not get involved or you will be screwed.
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Male 2,419
And the dutch are evil becuase they believe in euthanasia. how about we also believe in the right not to be sued if you try and save someone`s life, and that you have a reasonable duty to try and save another person. call me crazy but i think i prefer our legal system over yours...
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Male 14,331
Submitted this like 3 days ago :-\
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Male 7,123
Can`t breach protocol, can we? Damn.
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Female 167
I love how these organizations always say they will launch an "internal investigation" which basically means they will do nothing.
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Male 198
In the follow-up story the family of the deceased says that they are satisfied with the care given to their family member as the deceased had wanted to die naturally.

http://tinyurl.com/cobtwl6

And the nursing home is now throwing that nurse under the bus after initially backing her up. Not her fault they set pooty procedures.
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Male 5,811
Yeah, nursing homes are sketchy a lot of the time. Problems dealing with demented old people is a higher risk of violence for staff and other residents, so they have weird rules to begin with. But I`ve never heard of this before, it just seems illegal. I`m fairly sure in Canada that if you`re a medical professional such as a nurse or doctor that you have to give life-saving care if someone is in distress, which is why most doctors immediately order an alcoholic beverage when flying on planes. Don`t know about the US though, MeGrendel may know more since his wife is a nurse down there.
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Female 8,043
Link: Woman Dies After Nurse Refuses To Do CPR- 911 Call [Rate Link] - The 911 dispatcher pleads with her to save the elderly woman`s life but she refuses due to policy. Story in Credit link
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