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Nurse Who Denied CPR To Elderly Woman Goes On Leave, But Family Says They're Satisfied With Her Work

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The nurse who refused to perform CPR on a collapsed elderly woman at a senior living facility has voluntarily gone on leave.

During a dramatic 9-1-1 call, she said that it was against company policy to perform CPR on a resident despite the protests of a dispatcher. Initially, her employer Glenwood Gardens backed her up and said that in fact it was the company's policy to wait for paramedics to arrive. But a week later—and after the case drew national attention—the parent company of Glenwood Gardens is saying the nurse misunderstood the company's policy, according to the Bakersfield Californian.

Brookdale Senior Living, Glenwood Garden's parent company, issued a statement that said, "This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents. Glenwood Gardens is conducting a full internal investigation, which we are fully supporting, and the individual is on voluntary leave during the process."

The family of the elderly woman 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless has been adamant that it was happy with the care that she received and that they had no intention of suing the company. The family released this statement to KGET (via Bakersfield.com)

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"Our mother and grandmother was a remarkable and intelligent woman who was blessed to have a great life of 87 years. It is the wish of our family to honor and celebrate her life at this personal time. Like so many seniors, it was our mother's wish to live independently. She was fully aware that Glenwood Gardens did not offer trained medical staff. Even so, she personally selected the senior living community, and our family has come to know the staff and been very pleased with Glenwood Gardens as her home.

It was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life-prolonging intervention. Our family respects the right of all people to make their own life choices in such cases.

We regret that this private and most personal time has been escalated by the media. Caregivers, nurses and other medical professionals have very difficult waters to tread in the legal and medical landscape of our country today.

We understand that the 911 tape of this event has caused concern, but our family knows that mom had full knowledge of the limitations of Glenwood Gardens, and is at peace. We also have no desire, nor is it the nature of our family, to seek legal recourse or try to profit from what is a lesson we can all learn from.

We wish to focus on our family at this time, and this will be our final comment on this personal matter."


State leaders are discussing whether this case could spur legislation. However, it might be difficult to pass any law that would change the outcome of an incident like this, because of the kind of facility Bayless was living in when she collapsed. Bayless was not in an assisted living facility that offered medical care—she was actually in an independent living facility where she had no expectation of medical care. Experts on senior care told The Californian that where she collapsed wasn't all that legally different from collapsing on the sidewalk"I think one of the issues, of course, is that this is an independent senior living community, and they're not licensed by the state," said Pat McGinnis, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. "I'm just not sure what they would do at the state level, to tell you the truth."

Related:
Dramatic 9-1-1 Call: Nurse Refuses To Perform CPR On Collapsed Elderly Woman