BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A central California retirement home is defending one of its nurses who refused pleas by a 911 operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman who later died, saying the nurse was following 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.”