An 87-year-old woman in the United States has died after the staff at the retirement village she lived in refused to preform CPR, when she suffered a heart attack.
When Lorraine Bayless collapsed on the floor of Glenwood Gardens retirement home in Bakersfield, staff did the right thing – they picked up the phone and called emergency services.
But what happened next will make the hairs on your arm stand up.
Listen to the phone call:
If you aren’t able to listen along, here is what happened:
The 911 operator who took the call (her name was Tracey Halvorson) asked the nurse to start performing CPR.
The nurse flatly refused to do so because performing CPR was against the retirement home’s policy – which is that staff wait for trained paramedics to arrive and resuscitate, rather than attempting to do so themselves.
You can hear the desperation in the emergency service operator’s voice during the 7-minute-16-second call, as she pleads with the nurse to at least flag down a stranger on the street who could step in and perform CPR.
But the nurse says that’s not possible either.
“We’re going to let this lady die?” Operator Halvorson asks.
“Well that’s why we’re calling 911,” is the reply from the nurse.
In the end Halvorson asks if there is “any human being” who is willing to help.
The response? “Not at this time.”
Lorraine Bayless was later declared dead at the Mercy SouthWest Hospital.