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Nurse Refuses to Give CPR

After a retirement home in California says a nurse was only following policy for refusing CPR on a dying patient, ABC 17 News checked with the Missouri Health Care Association to find out if local residents could face similar risks. The incident happened at an unregulated independent living facility, but ABC 17’s Janai Norman found out it is possible for Missouri nursing home employees to call 911 when a patient stops breathing and refuse to give CPR.In fact, some say it may not be a rare occurrence, but instead a common one.Jon Dolan, executive director of the state’s health care association says, “In Missouri nursing homes, you must 24/7 have someone certified for CPR on staff, awake, ready to go, at all times.”He says it is a requirement for nursing staff members to be certified in CPR and to provide it in a time of need.”There is an exception,” Dolan says. “One, tightly drawn resident and patient-centered exception that hospitals and nursing homes use every day.”That’s an out of hospital do not resuscitate order. Holly baker with a local assisted living facility tells me most of her residents have one.Baker says DNRs are not uncommon. “I would say that 95% of our residents have the DNR, do not resuscitate order signed,”She says it’s one of the first things residents are asked at admission. It’s updated once a year, and patients can change their minds.But if a patient decides they don’t want medical intervention, CPR won’t be done.Dolan says, “even if a daughter or someone else was asking, the will of the patient is what is done.”The unregulated independent living facility where this happened is different from even an assisted living facility, and Dolan says it’s certainly not on the level of a nursing home. Both of those are regulated much more strenuously.The retirement facility released a statement saying it’s practice is to immediately call emergency personnel for assistance, and wait with the individual needing attention until personnel arrives.

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