Family: Woman Denied CPR Wanted no Intervention

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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.”

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