Monday, March 4, 2013

Policy

Eighty-seven year-old Lorraine Bayless lived in the Glenwood Gardens senior care facility in Bakersfield, CA. She was there because she needed care.

More specifically, due to her advanced age, she was vulnerable and there was a great probability she would one day be in immediate need of emergency medical assistance.

That day arrived when Ms. Bayless collapsed last Tuesday.

A nurse at the facility called 9-1-1 and requested an ambulance. After dispatching a medical team, the operator asked the nurse to provide CPR in the interim.

That nurse refused.

The operator, seemingly the only party aware of the severity of the situation, attempted again to get the nurse to perform CPR. And again the nurse refused.

With her increasingly-desperate entreaties falling on deaf ears, the operator asked if there was someone—anyone—at the facility who would be willing to perform CPR.

The nurse's cold-blooded response was “Not at this time.”

The nurse cited corporate policy which states that in such instances, on-site personnel only call 9-1-1 and wait with the afflicted resident until emergency personnel arrive.

Which means there would never be a time when someone would be willing to perform CPR on Ms. Bayless.

The heartless, barren reality of this incident is that Ms. Bayless could have collapsed alone in a cheap apartment with the same result.

But with assisted living facilities often costing over a hundred-thousand dollars a year, shouldn’t people like Ms. Bayless have expected something more than “I’ll call 9-1-1”?

Like a little CPR if you drop, unconscious, to the floor?

The enormous sums of cash that collect where medicine and health care are practiced make these so-called providers popular targets for law suits—both legitimate and illegitimate.

And that concern is no doubt responsible for Glenwood Gardens’ “hands off” policy, which is best described as if we don’t touch her—they can’t sue.

Anyone still feel American business is being smothered by excessive government regulation?

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