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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - CA Woman Denied CPR; Dies
Tuesday, March 5 2013, 07:49 AM EST
CA Woman Denied CPR; Dies
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) -- Police in Bakersfield are investigating whether there was any criminal wrongdoing in an independent living facility's handling of a resident's death after a nurse refused to perform CPR on the woman.

Bakersfield Police Department spokeswoman Michaela Beard says police dispatcher first fielded the call from the facility last week saying that a woman had collapsed in the dining room. Beard says police immediately routed it to the fire department for emergency services.

But when a second dispatcher pleaded with a nurse at the facility to perform CPR on the resident, she refused. Beard said Monday the department is looking into the incident. She says she can't provide any additional information because the investigation is ongoing.

Here is a partial transcript of the 911 call from a senior living facility nurse -- identified as Colleen -- requesting help for an 87-year-old woman who was barely breathing:

   Dispatcher: This woman's not breathing enough. She's gonna die if we don't get this started.  Do you understand?
   Caller: I understand. I am a nurse. But I cannot have our other citizens, who don't know CPR, do it. We're in a dining room.
   Dispatcher: I will instruct them. Is there anyone there?
   Caller: I cannot do that.
   Dispatcher: OK, is there anyone there who is willing to help this patient?
   Caller: I am, but...
   Dispatcher: OK great, then I'll walk you through it all. EMS takes the liability for this, Colleen. I'm happy to ... OK? This is EMS protocol.  OK?
   Caller: (To someone off the phone) I don't know where he is. She's yelling at me to have one of our other residents perform CPR. And I'm not gonna do that, and make that call.
   Dispatcher: Colleen, is there anyone that works there that's willing to do it?
   Caller: We can't do that.
   Dispatcher: Are we just gonna let this lady die?
   Caller: Well that's why we're calling 911.
   Dispatcher: We can't wait. She can't wait right now. She is stopping breathing. She can't wait for them to get there.
   Caller: She's taken three breaths.
   Dispatcher: It's not enough. We need to get CPR started.
   Caller: (Chatter in background) He's saying we don't. You can talk to my boss, and I don't know what to say.
   Dispatcher: OK. (To someone off phone.) They're refusing CPR, they're gonna let her die. By the facility, yeah.
   Caller: When will the fire department be here? When will the ambulance ...
   Dispatcher: They're coming. They've been on the way all this time but we can't wait. This lady's gonna die.
   Caller: Yeah.
   Dispatcher: OK, well then if you get anybody, any stranger that happens to walk by that's willing to help. I understand if your boss is telling you can't do it. But if there's any human being. ... Is there anyone that's willing to help this lady and not let her die?
   Caller: Um, not at this time.
   Dispatcher: (To someone off phone) They won't. They won't touch her at all. I can't get anyone to touch her at all.
   Caller: We have residents that are ...
   Dispatcher: Any guests? Any guests that are there that are willing to help?
   Caller: No, I don't have any.
   Dispatcher: Is there a gardener, any staff? Anybody who doesn't work for you anywhere? Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady. ... Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger will help her. I'm pretty good at talking them into it. If you can flag a stranger down I will help. I will tell them how to help her.
   Caller: (To someone off phone) She said not to move her. OK.
   Dispatcher: Has anyone gone to look for a stranger?
   Caller: They're here right now.
   Dispatcher:  Alright.CA Woman Denied CPR; Dies

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