KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A chilling 911 phone call from a California nurse who refused to give a medical treatment has people across the nation asking if their loved one's independent senior living center is safe.
The nurse told the dispatcher it was against the senior care facility's policy to perform medical assistance on an elderly woman with cardiac arrest.
On tape, listeners can hear the nurse at the Glenwood Gardens facility tell the dispatcher: "Yeah, we can't do CPR at this facility."
The 87-year-old resident later died, but the facility decided the nurse followed proper procedure.
The Kansas Department of Aging said the chilling phone call is a reminder that not all independent living facilities operate by the same rules.
Just as in California, there are no requirements in Kansas and Missouri that such facilities provide medical assistance to residents.
"You really need to look at what each building has to offer," explained David Russell, executive director of the Shawnee Hills Senior Living Center. "It's worth asking: 'What happens if?'"
Experts at the Kansas Department of Aging suggest asking specific questions when looking for a facility:
- Do you have someone on staff at all times?
- Do you have a nurse on staff?
- Is medical staff is allowed to perform medical help?
Experts say nurses are not always allowed to perform CPR at all facilities.