Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Refusal to perform CPR, is it negligence?

Many times families must make the difficult choice to place a loved on in a nursing home because the family can no longer provide the necessary care and medical attention that the resident needs. Families trust these facilities and staff members but are also hypersensitive to signs of abuse and signs of neglect. If a resident is injured because of abuse or neglect, a New York nursing home negligence lawyer may be able to provide some guidance and insight on recovery options.
A new story out of California takes an interesting turn on nursing home neglect. It focuses on inaction rather than action.
An 87-year-old woman lived in an independent living community. After a meal, she collapsed and was having trouble breathing. Sadly, a nurse responded to the woman but refused to administer CPR. The facility has a policy to only call 911 and not to apply any additional medical assistance. Rather, the facility just waits for 911 to send medical help.
The 911 dispatcher begged to nurse to give the woman CPR but the nurse was steadfast and stood by the facility’s policy. She also refused to look for someone else who would agree to help. The woman died while waiting for the medical response.
Details are still emerging and it is not known whether the nurse was actually a practicing nurse but the tragic story is still eye opening. It is difficult to grasp how the woman died at the hands of some who had the medical knowledge to perform CPR.
Perhaps it’s the state laws that need to be reconsidered or perhaps it is the facility’s policy itself. But the story is certainly something for families to consider who are researching long-term care homes for loved ones. There is no word on whether the family of the woman is going to bring a lawsuit against the nurse but if the nurse is shown to have negligently caused the woman’s death, the facility or the nurse could be liable for damages.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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