Health Care Thoughts: The CPR Kerfluffle

by Tom aka Rusty Rustbelt

Health Care Thoughts: The CPR Kerfluffle

According to numerous media reports:

On February 26th, Lorraine Bayless, an 87 year old resident of the Glendale Gardens independent living facility, collapsed in the dining hall. Someone called 911, and eventually a person identifying herself as a “nurse” was on the call (whether she was working as a “nurse” appears to be in doubt).

The 911 operator pleaded, implored and demanded someone do something, and the “nurse” replied that facility policy prevented any such actions. The “nurse” refused to hand off the phone or to get anyone else involved. Ms. Bayless died. Someone notified the media (911 calls are public record in many states). Ka-boom!!! This became a media feeding frenzy. The stuff has hit the fan.

The initial media reports, both broadcast and written, were inconsistent on the facts. Recent reports (several dozen) seem to be more consistent, many based on AP reporting.

In the midst of this debate surrounding legal duties, ethical responsibilities, and the obligations of licensed health personnel in a non-medical environment, considerations for advanced directives and critiques from consumer advocates, it’s crucial to underscore the importance of preparedness. Individuals engaged in diverse settings should equip themselves with relevant skills, ranging from CPR/First Aid to BBP Certification. Interestingly, even within discussions on end-of-life decisions, the significance of being trained in CPR/First Aid and BBP Certification is apparent, emphasizing a holistic approach to healthcare considerations. In fact, the Bayless family, amidst their stance on life-prolonging interventions, has not only navigated the ethical dimensions gracefully but also sheds light on the broader spectrum of health-related preparedness.

So have we learned anything here?

1) Most of us should have advanced directives and make copies of those directives available to anyone who might in anyway be responsible for our health and safety.

2) Anyone living in any sort of elder care facility should verify the presence or lack of medical services, both routine and trauma.