Another death at California independent living facility where nurse refused CPR

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Another death at a California independent living facility has raised more questions about the emergency care a patient was given while waiting for emergency medical service.

On Monday, March 11, a 76-year-old man went into cardiac arrest at Glenwood Gardens Skilled Nursing. This time, CPR was started, but the man died anyway.

And a fire department report offers more questions than answer about the care the man received in the final moments of his life.

ECC Dispatcher: "You said all of a sudden he is just not breathing?"

911 Caller: "...yeah and we have started CPR."

The incident happened just a little over a week after another death at the facility in which a woman was denied CPR.

This time CPR was started even before the 911 call was made.

ECC Dispatcher:  "And who is with the patient right now?"

911 Caller: "We have RN, LVN, and another staff."

ECC Dispatcher : "So RN with patient with CPR in progress?"

911 Caller: "Yes, it's in progress."

But then a few minutes later, there was another call to 911.

911 Caller: "This is [name] with Glenwood Gardens.  We called a 911 call for somebody with no pulse and no blood pressure.  The man has a pulse and a blood pressure now.  His doctor is with him."

By this time firefighters were already on scene and walking into the building.

ECC Dispatcher : "We just arrived on scene."

911 Caller: "Okay, well the doctor said call and cancel and it's like okay."

ECC Dispatcher : "Alright they should be making their way in right now."

But when firefighters got to the patient, he had no pulse and was not breathing.

"There was a doctor on scene of the incident that stated that the victim's daughter wanted CPR discontinued," said Batt. Chief Anthony Galagaza. "So CPR was not conducted at that time."

The official fire department report said the doctor at Glenwood Gardens ordered the nurses to stop CPR.

"The company officer on scene asked for a do no resuscitate order," said Galagaza.  "He was handed a paper that stated that full resuscitative measures were to be taken so at they time they did."

The fire department said that order was signed by the patient's daughter and the same doctor who was on scene.

Crews on scene performed three rounds of CPR and after a Hall Ambulance paramedic consulted with an ER doctor at Mercy Southwest, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The two main questions are can a phone call denying resuscitation replace a written order that said all life saving measure should be taken?

And second, why would staff at Glenwood Gardens cancel the emergency response and say the man was doing better, when according to the fire department he had no pulse and was not breathing?

The contradictions were enough that they were nothed by the fire captain in his official report.

He wrote "the information provided to ECC was recorded in the dispatch tapes and is in direct conflict with the information Company 15 was presented with both verbally and in writing from the doctors and nurses on scene."

Our Scripps Station in Bakersfield, 23ABC, made attempts to contact the man's daughter and his doctor, but were unsuccessful.

A spokesperson of Glenwood Gardens responded to us with this statement :

"We hope you understand that we cannot provide detailed comment on this situation because of patient confidentiality.  Glenwood Gardens Skilled Nursing worked closely with the family and the resident's doctor.  The physician was present, providing direction and communicating with the family, during this private time in these people's lives."

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