911 Operater Pleads With Nursing Home Nurse to Save a Life

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

  1. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Tighr , you're in B-field? We just went through there going back to Fresno from LA, stopping at Dewars. Small world!

    Back on topic, Alidar would be useful, since I've managed to forget most of what I learned in law school. But as noted by a poster above, no duty to help a stranger exists unless a special duty exists or you created the danger.

    In this case, there is (as usual) conflicting information in the news: there is a DNR on file, there isn't; there's policy against CPR, there isn't; this was a skilled nursing facility, it was a communal living center not providing medical care; etc.

    There are lots of questions, including whether the woman/family aware that the lack of medical care included no CPR under emergency situations--but this may be negated by the fact that (supposedly) the family has stated that they and the woman were aware of this and it was fine with them. It appears there's no case here as only the family is a party with standing to sue. Dont blame all lawyers: Decent lawyers don't troll for clients; blame the clients' greed--and shitty lawyers who agree to take them on.

    A positive outcome would be legal clarification of the status of the various types of elder-care facilities and their respective duties to the persons staying there, and their families. Now, likely, this would be on a state-by-state basis, which different laws in each state, because such facilities appear to be state-regulated, not federally-regulated. I believe there are some federal laws regarding elder care, but I know nothing on the subject.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    There's no DNR on file that's been pretty much confirmed. It has been said that this is "how she would have wanted it" or something like that but that brings up a discussion about what "DNR" means, something a friend and I were talking about the other day.

    On that, he training to be a firefighter and has gone through all of the medical-aid classes. One of the things he said that when it comes to DNRs you have to see it to follow it otherwise you work to save the person's life. It's better to get in trouble for saving them than to get into trouble for NOT saving them.

    I see this as the same case here people are SAYING that this is what the woman would have wanted but there's no paper to back that up so we only have word of mouth to go on. That shouldn't be good enough when it comes to any investigation on this from the side of the police and authorities. (If the family is satisfied that settles the civil issues.)

    If she had a DNR the woman could have said that on the phone, "she has a DNR" but instead she was worried about how long it'd take the ambulance to get there (why worry about that when they can't do anything either?) So the issue he is really the nurses' refusal to save this woman's life. Which they're pretty much duty bound to do being in the medical profession looking at a woman dying and she has no paperwork backing up her wishes when it comes to life-saving procedures.
     
  3. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Admiral

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    My sister had to tell the hospital that my mother had a DNR when the emergency department at our hospital wanted to resuscitate. My mother had provided her doctor and the hospital with a form (I gather the emergency department hadn't yet checked her record),she also carried another signed DNR form in her handbag which my sister was able to show to my brother who wanted to hospital to attempt resuscitation.

    Unless a health worker knows there is a legally binding DNR I thin they should be legally bound to rescusciate. This family agreed with the nurse this time, with the next family it might be the opposite.
     
  4. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Reports indicate this nurse, though licensed, was working in the capacity as an administrator, not as a health worker.
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Regardless. She's a nurse. Trained in CPR as part of her job and should be duty bound to save a life that is slipping away in front of her very eyes.
     
  6. propita

    propita Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't imagine a civil trial since, as I said, only the family really has standing to sue for wrongful death, and they're not interested. But if they were, A defense could be that, even without a DNR, the woman gave informed consent over the lack of CPR when she agreed to live there. Of course, a signed contract stating such would help with this.
     
  7. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The nurses were constrained by policy. They looked her up on the Obama Death Panel Chart and it said she wasn't worth it.
     
  8. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    I suggest you go read this before continuing to spout off without all the facts.
     
  9. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    It's definitely a gray area, but at the same time, there was no DNR plan on record for that woman. She discussed it with her family, sure, but not with the home.
     
  10. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    It does not matter, because the home explicitly does not provide any sort of medical care whatosever.
     
  11. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ We're not talking about medical care, we're talking about first aid.
     
  12. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    I think that's where the gray area is. The home doesn't provide it, but at the same time, a nurse has a certain obligation to protect life. First aid isn't the same as providing round-the-clock medical attention. I think the theory that the article you provided, Robert, sheds some light on why the home might have been overly firm on the subject.
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Performing CPR is not "medical care." Were it we could all become doctors inside of a Saturday afternoon. I've three friends who've all taken classes/training to be in various levels of emergency response. A friend trained and acting as a fire-fighter, another friend who is trraining to be a fire-fighter, and another friend who acted as a fire-fighter/EMT at one point and worked as an ER tech in a local hospital. All have said that when they were taking training for these various positions they were told to perform CPR on someone until you SEE a DNR, you don't go on someone's word that one exists or that it's "what they want." You need to see the paper.

    CPR may not have saved this woman, may have caused her greater injury or whatever but it's hard to know what would have happened. But performing CPR would have at least had taken her chances of dying from 100% through inaction to 99% through at least trying but it not being enough/helpful. And, as said, various laws protect a life-saving attempt from forms of liability.

    This woman died because somewhere in the entire system there was a major miscommunication on either what this woman's job and position was, what could happen if something goes wrong, the wishes of the deceased, liability stances, and many, many more issues or combination of all of it.

    The woman was not breathing, 911 asked the "nurse" on the phone to perform CPR. She refused and seemed unwilling and unmotivated to find someone willing to try. She also seemed un-moved by the idea that the woman will die if life-saving action was not taken. I think that's a lot to ponder on the various problems we have as a society or even as a local issue for them that this woman did not know what she could and could not and not be punished for it.

    The woman may have died no matter what. But at least someone could have TRIED to save her inside those few minutes which, according to all of my friends in life-saving fields, say minutes mean EVERYTHING when someone is barely breathing.
     
  14. The Naughty List

    The Naughty List Working the Pole Moderator

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    Well, I was on the fence about this issue before, but now that you two have convinced me with your semantic arguments that first aid and CPR don't qualify as "any sort of medical care whatsoever," as Robert said, I'm firmly in your camp. :techman:

    Clearly, CPR is some form of industrial waste disposal process and has nothing to do with emergency medical care at all. Saved for future reference.
     
  15. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    My eyes just kinda glazed over after reading this.
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    If a guest was standing nearby and tried to perform CPR on her, I wonder if they would have called the bouncers to eject him for violating company rules.
     
  17. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell so far this is a dumb future Premium Member

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    :rolleyes: Really?
     
  18. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ... bouncers? Is this a nursing home or a club?

    I guess we know now why the lady couldn't breathe - too much getting low low low low. :shifty:
     
  19. CmdrAJD

    CmdrAJD Commodore Commodore

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    I just find it horrifying that the situation even exists where someone has to do the mental calculation of "If I try to save this person's life, I may lose my job."

    I'm not defending the nurse. I don't know her, and she may be a wonderful person. On the recording of the 911 call I heard, it really sounded like she didn't care at all that a woman was dying right in front of her, but I can't say.

    Still, it amazes me that a nurse would be forced to consider that she might lose her livelihood and possibly harm her own ability to support her family in order to prevent another human being from dying. Someone earlier joked about death panels, but in this situation, that's exactly what the nurse has to become. Is the life of an 87 year old woman who might die anyway (and probably won't live too much longer even if she survives this incident) worth the financial risk to me and my family? I know I sound sanctimonious, but is that really where we are as a society?
     
  20. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Sort of how I feel.

    911: "This woman will die if we don't start CPR right away."
    Nurse: [blandly] "Yeah."