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Local assisted living facility talks about policy after Bakersfield death

By Christina Jensen
Published On: Mar 04 2013 06:41:24 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 04 2013 06:50:35 PM CST

A 911 dispatcher pleads, demands, even begs a nurse to perform CPR on an unconscious woman but, the nurse refuses. So what if this situation happened in eastern Idaho?

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

A 911 dispatcher pleads, demands, even begs a nurse to perform CPR on an unconscious woman.

A little more than five minutes into the call, 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless remained untouched, barely breathing on the dining room floor at a California assisted living center. She later died at a hospital. In a statement, the California retirement home said: "Our practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives. that is the protocol we followed."

So what if this situation happened in eastern Idaho?

"You know, if someone was to go down, we would call 911 and do as they instructed us to do," said Administrator Melynda Seiler. Seiler with the Turtle & Crane assisted living center in Idaho Falls.

She said its policy depends on whether people living there have signed a "do not resuscitate" form.

"If a person living here needs CPR, the staff would then look at their forms and if it says 'resuscitate,' they would perform CPR and call 911. If it says 'do not resuscitate,' we still make them comfortable and we call 911," said Seiler.

But if a patient clearly needed help, she wouldn't stand idly by. "I mean if she needed CPR and you could see that she needed it and the EMT's and 911 operators ask you to start CPR, than I would have started CPR," she said.

This story created a firestorm of feedback on our Facebook page Monday morning.

James Kniffen said,"...what's the use of having RNA's and CNA's working in the place if they can't even do CPR on a person."

Kathleen Hedman said, "...if the families were made aware of this particular facility's policy, then they don't have much to sue about."

Bayless' family reportedly says they do not fault the nurse heard on that call or the retirement home.

Police said they are investigating whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in the case.

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