Uncertainty about CPR policy in local senior homes
Posted at: 03/05/2013 6:26 PM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
It has been a week since a woman died inside an independent living home in California, after the facility's policy prevented a worker from performing CPR.
That facility, Glenwood Gardens, is owned by the same national corporation that runs two places here in Albuquerque.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 spent Tuesday trying to confirm whether policies at the local senior living facilities also prevent staff from intervening in medical emergencies. Sounds like a simple yes or no answer, but it is one KOB is still waiting to get.
The facilities look like an apartment complex and are advertised as "exceptional living for seniors."
It was inside a Bakersfield, California Brookdale Senior Living facility, just like the ones in Albuquerque, that an 87-year-old woman died, while a nurse stood by and watched. Corporate policy allegedly prohibited her from giving CPR.
During the more than 7 minute 911 call, the dispatcher is heard asking, "Is there a gardener, any staff? Anybody that doesn't work for you anywhere? Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?"
Lawyer Dusti Harvey specializes in senior living cases involving facilities all across New Mexico.
"A policy that prohibits a nurse from providing CPR to anybody in need is contrary to human decency," Harvey said.
More often than not, policies at senior living facilities are typically withheld, Harvey said.
"One of the questions we asked in lawsuit, is we need all your policies and procedures, and a lot of times they won't willingly give it to us," she said. "We have to go to court, file a motion to compel."
One of the Brookdale locations in Albuquerque is located at 4910 Tramway Ridge. KOB spoke with the manager over the phone. She declined to speak on-camera but clarified, policies are only discussed at the time of move-in, and then referred KOB to the corporation's website, www.brookdaleliving.com.
On the website, there is no information provided about any policies.
The second location in Albuquerque is at 300 Valencia Drive SE. KOB got the same response there too.
"More than likely they're following the same policy and procedure, and if I had a loved one there, I'd go check," Harvey said.
That is the best advice, Harvey said, is for anyone with a loved one at a care facility to know what the policy about CPR is and if you do not, then ask.
KOB left repeated messages throughout the day with Brookdale Senior Living and as of Tuesday night was still waiting for a phone call or email back.