Administer CPR or not... that is the question

Not sure if you guys have seen this but…

A California retirement home is backing one of its nurses after she refused desperate pleas from a 911 operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman who later died, saying the nurse was following the facility’s policy.

“Is there anybody that’s willing to help this lady and not let her die,” dispatcher Tracey Halvorson says on a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department aired by several media outlets on Sunday.

“Not at this time,” said the nurse, who didn’t give her full name and said facility policy prevented her from giving the woman medical help.

At the beginning of the Tuesday morning call, the nurse asked for paramedics to come and help the 87-year-old woman who had collapsed in the home’s dining room and was barely breathing.

Halvorson pleads for the nurse to perform CPR, and after several refusals she starts pleading for her to find a resident, or a gardener, or anyone not employed by the home to get on the phone, take her instructions and help the woman.

“Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?” Halvorson says on the call. “Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her.”

The woman was later declared dead at Mercy Southwest Hospital, officials said.

The executive director of Glenwood Gardens, Jeffrey Toomer, defended the nurse’s actions, saying she did indeed follow policy.

“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.”

Toomer offered condolences to the woman’s family and said a “thorough internal review” of the incident would be conducted.

He told KGET-TV that residents of the home’s independent living community are informed of the policy and agree to it when they move in. He said the policy does not apply at the adjacent assisted living and skilled nursing facilities.

A county official also said the dispatcher followed general protocols when she pleaded with the nurse to perform CPR.

Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins says Halvorson, who is an experienced dispatcher and has worked for the county center for at least a decade, had more passion in her voice than normal during the call because she thought she was talking with a registered nurse who was refusing to save the woman’s life.
[I]
The Associated Press contributed to this report[/I].

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/03/04/california-woman-dies-after-nurse-refuses-to-perform-cpr/#ixzz2Mb1nAUhb

Which brings me to my point… Have you ever been in a situation where moral high ground and company policy conflict?

Granted this is an extreme situation

87 years is a pretty good run. We all should wish for a quality life not quantity. Maybe the lady was suffering from Alzheimers or dementia and didn’t know where she was. If I went into cardiac arrest and I was 87 let me go Tango Uniform and take my final rest. MHO only

[QUOTE=Mikey;101634]Which brings me to my point… Have you ever been in a situation where moral high ground and company policy conflict?[/QUOTE]

for the dear love of God Almighty in Heaven…tell me any company that places morals ahead of profits or avoiding liability?

[QUOTE=Mikey;101634]Not sure if you guys have seen this but…

Which brings me to my point… Have you ever been in a situation where moral high ground and company policy conflict?

Granted this is an extreme situation[/QUOTE]

A while back… I saw a person jump from a 7 story building and land in the street in front of me… I was the first to check the body for signs of life…No pulse. Double-compound fracture of the left arm, with bones having broken through the flesh but almost no bleeding (I assume cause the heart had already stopped), eyes rolled back completely, no respiration… This man, who was 26, was dead when he hit the ground… I’ll never forget the sound the body made…on impact. I didn’t try CPR for obvious reasons and this happened in a foreign country with no such thing as “Good Samaritan” laws on the books and I had heard of foreigners that had attempted to help locals, then were arrested by the police for having caused injury or even death, when the person was already dead or going to die.

How can you stand back and watch someone die like that, i dont care if they are 87 or 17, that was bullshit. I recently finished the MED PIC class, and the biggest thing the instructor stressed was, make damm sure you can justify your actions. The company i work for has been great about keeping everyone up to date on cpr, aed, and first aid. Most guys think its a joke, but do to the aging mariners we all work with, some day you maybe in that situation, and if you stone cold refused to try anything to help your shipmate, i think that could be a career ender.

It’s one thing to render aid to a stranger (or refuse for that matter) but when it comes to your shipmates, it’s a no-brainer. You do the best you can and help him or her. Leaving them to flop on the deck and expire for the lack of a First Responder is reprehensible when we’re equipped with an AED and O2 kit. If there’s a chance to help do the best you can and at the very least use your training to give him a shot. Try for as long as you have the stamina. He’s got a family/life to go home to just like the rest of us. It’s only the right thing to do.
Any policy that prohibits assisting someone in need is meaningless when it comes to rendering aid at sea. If you can do so without putting your vessel or crew in danger, you know what you have to do.

So the nursing home has a nurse that is not allowed to do any nursing…
Of course some patients will have DNR on their beds… usually written in latin in docor scawl so the punters dont know what it means

I also wondered if the woman had a DNR. The article doesn’t say. But to let the woman die like that is unconsionable. Company policy be fucked. If you have the knowledge and skills to perform CPR, you are ethically bound to try it.
A couple years ago, I took my woman to NYC. We were coming out of Central Park on the Upper East Side. Very ritzy neighborhood. As we crossed the street at W 83rd we saw an elderly woman fall flat on her face. My woman, an LPN, immediately rushed to her aid. I grabbed her arm and stopped her momentarily. I had just finished MED PIC and have been a volunteer fireman years ago. One of the lessons learned is to assess the situation before trying to render assistance. I wanted to see what caused her to fall. I wanted to see if there were live electrical wires that would put us in danger. I wanted to eyeball the three Puerto Rican gentlemen who were also headed towards her to see if they were going to rob her or harm us. A hurt or dead first responder isn’t going to help anyone. turns out she just tripped and was alright. We walked her to her door (about 50 FT) and I talked to the doorman to make sure she got to her apartment safely.

[QUOTE=SaltySailor;101723]A while back… I saw a person jump from a 7 story building and land in the street in front of me… I was the first to check the body for signs of life…No pulse. Double-compound fracture of the left arm, with bones having broken through the flesh but almost no bleeding (I assume cause the heart had already stopped), eyes rolled back completely, no respiration… This man, who was 26, was dead when he hit the ground… I’ll never forget the sound the body made…on impact. I didn’t try CPR for obvious reasons and this happened in a foreign country with no such thing as “Good Samaritan” laws on the books and I had heard of foreigners that had attempted to help locals, then were arrested by the police for having caused injury or even death, when the person was already dead or going to die.[/QUOTE]

You did the right thing. When I worked on ambulances we were trained on all the signs of certain death (the first being decapitation!) and, if anyone gave us a hard time about not doing CPR, we were told to say “Close examination revealed [I]injuries incompatible with life[/I]”

I never heard that phraze uttered in the Med PIC course. Seems like common sense to me.

[QUOTE=seadog6608;101978]I never heard that phraze uttered in the Med PIC course. Seems like common sense to me.[/QUOTE]

Yes, they taught us in Naval Flight Training if we lose our heads we are dead, always kept that in my mind. :smiley:

[QUOTE=captbbrucato;101848]It’s one thing to render aid to a stranger (or refuse for that matter) but when it comes to your shipmates, it’s a no-brainer. You do the best you can and help him or her. Leaving them to flop on the deck and expire for the lack of a First Responder is reprehensible when we’re equipped with an AED and O2 kit. If there’s a chance to help do the best you can and at the very least use your training to give him a shot. Try for as long as you have the stamina. He’s got a family/life to go home to just like the rest of us. It’s only the right thing to do.
Any policy that prohibits assisting someone in need is meaningless when it comes to rendering aid at sea. If you can do so without putting your vessel or crew in danger, you know what you have to do.[/QUOTE]

I’ve had to assist with performing CPR on shipmates twice. Once was following a drug overdose/attempted suicide and since it was started nearly immediately, was successful. A first generation AED was used, back when most people didn’t know how to spell AED (1981). The second was started too late to have any benefit.

Not acting was never considered in either case. The company I worked for had the opposite policy, they had an office worker die of a heart attack while everyone watched not knowing how to do CPR. After that, every workplace got AEDs, everyone was trained at compant time and expense.

[QUOTE=jdcavo;102018]I’ve had to assist with performing CPR on shipmates twice. Once was following a drug overdose/attempted suicide and since it was started nearly immediately, was successful. A first generation AED was used, back when most peiople didn’t know how to spell AEDB (1981). The second was started too late to have any benefit. Not acting was never considered in either case.[/QUOTE]
I did it once. Electrocution. Poor young man was dead before we started. Still tried for an hour.

Our instructor went thru the various levels of a “Stable” patient, the best and worst level you could hope for was the truly stable patient, the dead one.

[QUOTE=john;101975]You did the right thing. When I worked on ambulances we were trained on all the signs of certain death (the first being decapitation!) and, if anyone gave us a hard time about not doing CPR, we were told to say “Close examination revealed [I]injuries incompatible with life[/I]”[/QUOTE]

Thanks John… It was pretty damn depressing. I later found out that the man had started to show signs of mental illness about a month before this, but being a 3rd world country, the ideas of “mental health” and treatment… are almost non-existent. If somehow he had gotten some form of treatment, meds, something…Maybe it would never have happened.

I asked around the neighborhood and that’s how I got the “back-story”.

Of course you will adminster CPR to a shipmate or passenger.

There isn’t even a question. Company policy my ass. When we had to do it we didn’t even think about company policy.

Even filthy merchant seamen scum like me are humans.

I don’t know about my friends.

My mother said they are worse.