Family: Woman Denied CPR Wanted No Intervention - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Family: Woman Denied CPR Wanted No Intervention

Posted: Updated:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Relatives of an 87-year-old woman who died after a nurse at her retirement home refused a 911 dispatcher's pleas to perform CPR expressed satisfaction with the care she received, saying her wishes were to die naturally. Meanwhile, the company that owns the facility now says its worker failed to follow proper procedures.

Lorraine Bayless' death last week at Glendale Gardens, a Bakersfield independent living facility, prompted outrage after a 7-minute recording of the 911 call was released. Brookdale Senior Living, which owns the facility, initially said its employee acted correctly by waiting until emergency personnel arrived. But late Tuesday, it issued a new statement saying the employee had misinterpreted the company's guidelines and was on voluntary leave while the case is investigated.

"This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents," the Tennessee-based company said.

Shortly before Brookdale's clarification, Bayless' family sent The Associated Press a statement saying she was aware that Glenwood Gardens did not offer trained medical staff, but opted to live there anyway.

"It was our beloved mother and grandmother's wish to die naturally and without any kind of life prolonging intervention," the family said. "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."

The family said it would not sue or try to profit from the death, and called it "a lesson we can all learn from."

"We regret that this private and most personal time has been escalated by the media," the statement said.

Bayless collapsed in the Glenwood Gardens dining hall on Feb. 26. Someone called 911 on a cellphone and asked for an ambulance. Later, a woman who identified herself as a nurse got on the line and told dispatcher Tracey Halvorson she was not permitted to do CPR on the woman.

Halvorson implored the nurse to find someone else and said she would instruct them on how to do the procedure.

"I understand if your facility is not willing to do that," Halvorson said. "Give the phone to a passer-by. This woman is not breathing enough. She is going to die if we don't get this started, do you understand?"

By the time paramedics arrived, Bayless had stopped breathing.

Bakersfield fire officials who responded said Bayless did not have a "do not resuscitate" order on file at the home. The family and the company have not commented.

Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility and as such Brookdale has said that by law it is "not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents." But it added later that it was reviewing company policies "involving emergency medical care across all of our communities."

The woman who identified herself as a nurse was employed at the facility as a resident services director, the company said.

Bayless' death has prompted multiple investigations.

Bakersfield police are trying to determine whether a crime was committed when the nurse refused to help even find someone to perform CPR. The Kern County Aging and Adult Services Department is looking into possible elder abuse and the state Assembly's Aging and Long-term Care Committee is investigating to see whether legislation is needed.

The nation's largest trade group for senior living facilities has called for its members to review policies.

"It was a complete tragedy," said Maribeth Bersani, senior vice president of the Assisted Living Federation of America. "Our members are now looking at their policies to make sure they are clear. Whether they have one to initiate (CPR) or not, they should be responsive to what the 911 person tells them to do."

The California Board of Registered Nursing is concerned that the woman who spoke to the 911 dispatcher did not even respond to requests to find someone who might want to help.

"If she's not engaged in the practice of nursing, there's no obligation (to help)," agency spokesman Russ Heimerich said. "What complicates this further is the idea that she wouldn't hand the phone over either. So that's why we want to look into it."

AP Science Writer Alicia Chang contributed to this report from Los Angeles. AP researcher Monika Mathur contributed from Washington.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Friday, July 21st

    Mad Minute stories from Friday, July 21st

    Saturday, July 22 2017 2:00 AM EDT2017-07-22 06:00:13 GMT
    Mad Minute for 12/30/16Mad Minute for 12/30/16

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, July 21st.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Friday, July 21st.

    More >>
  • Federal grand jury indicts US soldier on terrorism charges

    Federal grand jury indicts US soldier on terrorism charges

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:50 PM EDT2017-07-22 03:50:00 GMT
    Federal grand jury indicts US soldier on terrorism chargesFederal grand jury indicts US soldier on terrorism charges

    HONOLULU (AP) - A federal grand jury in Hawaii has indicted a U.S. soldier for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was indicted Friday after he was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8. Kang was ordered held without bail. Because of the indictment, Kang will no longer have a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Monday. Kang's court-appointed attorney Birney 

    More >>

    HONOLULU (AP) - A federal grand jury in Hawaii has indicted a U.S. soldier for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State group. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was indicted Friday after he was arrested by an FBI SWAT team on July 8. Kang was ordered held without bail. Because of the indictment, Kang will no longer have a preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Monday. Kang's court-appointed attorney Birney 

    More >>
  • White House threatens Iran over detained Americans

    White House threatens Iran over detained Americans

    Friday, July 21 2017 9:25 PM EDT2017-07-22 01:25:44 GMT
    Photo: NBCPhoto: NBC

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The White House is threatening "new and serious consequences" for Iran unless it releases all U.S. citizens who are detained there. The White House says President Donald Trump is prepared to act in an attempt to end Iran's practice of using detentions and hostage taking as state policy, but it provides no specifics about potential consequences. Trump is urging the return of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who 

    More >>

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The White House is threatening "new and serious consequences" for Iran unless it releases all U.S. citizens who are detained there. The White House says President Donald Trump is prepared to act in an attempt to end Iran's practice of using detentions and hostage taking as state policy, but it provides no specifics about potential consequences. Trump is urging the return of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who 

    More >>