911 Operater Pleads With Nursing Home Nurse to Save a Life

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Trekker4747, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    As I understand it the place where the woman was was basically a retirement home/community. It wasn't for assisted living or for persons needing medical attention.

    On your second point, regardless of the person being fired for "violating policy" I think that'd make me, personally, feel better than to go the rest of my life wonder if I had done the nature of my job if it would have saved a life.

    These women were nurses. I don't know if nurses take something akin to the Hippocratic Oath but these women are in a medical profession and are specifically trained to help save lives. To just stand there and do nothing while a woman suffocated to death or suffered from hear failure is utterly disgusting.

    I would think "Stood idly by while an elderly woman died wondering on the phone 911 when help was going to arrive" looks worse on a resume than "attempted to save a life by providing CPR to someone who needed it, in spite of it being against policy."

    Performing CPR wouldn't have put the woman -or the facility- in any legal trouble. (There are laws to prevent that. You can't get in trouble for failing to provide help.) However since this woman died since the professionals at this location refused to provide any level of life-saving care (including asking a passer-by to help -something even EMTs and firefighters are trained, and required, to do even when THEY are the ones arriving for help-) the facility is much more open to legal action from the family and possibly even criminal action from local law enforcement.

    Anyone with a brain and a heart should hear this 911 call and be disgusted by the actions of the "nurses" at this facility. The woman is laying on the floor DYING, getting but a single breath once a minute or so and the nurses, people trained to provide life-saving care- are just standing there shrugging and saying they can't help.

    I hope they all lose their licenses and are forced into another line of work. I also hope this retirement community has all of the residents flee it (either on their own or by their family members) and it gets shut down and turned into a parking lot.
     
  2. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    More's the pity... :sigh:
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I guess, more my point, was that if you perform CPR on someone and you don't help or if you injure them you don't get in trouble as there are laws to protect you from any legal action. (Civil or otherwise.) I believe all states have laws protecting people who try and to provide help in emergency situations just like this. (There can be exceptions, of course, but providing CPR to someone taking a single breath a minute cannot provoke any problems.)

    Now, I don't think people should be required to provide help if they can (some controversial laws are out there along these lines) unless, of course that person is in the medical profession at a care facility.

    They were talking about this on the local radio show today and they were wondering what would have happened if, say, this woman had severely gotten cut, nicking an artery or something. Would the nurses stand idly by and the woman bled out? If she was choking would they have performed the Heimlich Maneuver?
     
  4. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think we may be overlooking a possibility that the parties responsible for placing the woman in this facility knew full well that the nurses working there would not perform CPR.
     
  5. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It was neither. It was the independent living building of a retirement community that includes all three levels -- independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing.

    BTW, the link in the OP now goes to an updated version of the article, which says that there was no DNR order on file. Plus a bunch of other details. Worth reading.
     
  6. Data Holmes

    Data Holmes Admiral Admiral

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    It is a known policy that all tenants of the facility are reportedly knotified of, and sign off on, prior to moving in...

    If that report is true, they effectively agree to a limited DNR policy. That may be a part of the DNR confusion.
     
  7. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Saving lives is an absolute good. I'm not entirely convinced we SHOULDN'T have such laws.
     
  8. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'd be curious as to how we could lawfully define whether someone "can" render assistance.
     
  9. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Excerpted from Wiki:

    Personally, I'm of the opinion that, except in specific circumstances that create a duty of care (as per the examples above), no one should be legally obligated to help a person in distress. Acting out of common decency and humanity isn't something that can be or should be legislated. You can educate people but you can't compel them to help one another, any more than you can force people to love one another.
     
  10. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ I agree. You can't compel someone to be a Samaritan. But it boggles my mind that a bunch of nurses would stand by and watch somebody die. How can helping people be against company policy? It takes a pretty sick mind to come up with something like that.
     
  11. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You could start by asking Kitty Genovese's family.
     
  12. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  13. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    I might be misremembering from my own CPR classes, but I was under the impression that anybody with a CPR certification (and I have to assume the nurses would be CPR-certified) was legally obligated to help someone in need. You might not be able to get in trouble if you don't help, but you're supposed to help if you've been trained to do so. Otherwise why bother getting the certification at all?
     
  14. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There's quite a difference between-

    is able to
    should be able to
    is obligated to

    I suspect people pursue the certification because they want to be able to perform CPR...not because they want to be under any obligation to do so.
     
  15. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Perhaps, and again, I might just be misremembering what I was taught (I haven't been been certified in a few years), but I was under the impression that if you are certified and on the scene, you are legally obligated to help. Maybe laws vary by state?
     
  16. Shanndee

    Shanndee Commodore Commodore

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    When I was CPR certified we were told that we were obligated to try to give aid. That meant that we were obligated to call 911.

    However, if we found that the pressure of the situation was too much for us to deal with we were asked to not remain on the scene. I'm not sure what the actual reasoning was, but they really didn't want us to remain on the scene if we were not prepared to be part of the solution. This was way back in 1990. I haven't been certified since, so I don't know what the current thinking is.
     
  17. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I'd hope nobody would have to be certified in anything to call 911 if they were witness to a medical emergency.
     
  18. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    This surprised me, because here in Italy failing to provide assistance (i.e. calling the cops or an ambulance) is a criminal offence. Reading the article, the divide seems to be common law (UK and US) vs. civil law (continental Europe). Weird.

    But you can compel them to call 911 if they witness an emergency. You don't need to love for that, just a cell phone.
     
  19. RoJoHen

    RoJoHen Awesome Premium Member

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    Perhaps that's what I'm thinking of.
     
  20. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    I was always instructed that if you BEGIN providing CPR, you were obligated to continue until relieved by a Doctor/EMT/Paramedic, or by another CPR certified person. As a person who is not medically licensed, you are not capable of making the determination on your own whether or not it is safe to stop providing CPR. You are under no obligation if you never begin providing CPR.

    This incident happened in my town, and just down the road from where I live. From the articles I've seen on the local news and in the local paper, the family very much wants this issue put to rest and is adamant that this is what their mother would have wanted. I feel we should respect their wishes.