Company: Woman who refused CPR erred on policy

Associated Press
A man walks near the main gate of Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield, Calif., Monday March 4, 2013, where an elderly woman died after a nurse refused to perform CPR on her last week. The central California retirement home is defending one of its nurses who refused pleas by a 911 operator to perform CPR on an elderly woman, who later died. "Is there anybody that's willing to help this lady and not let her die," dispatcher Tracey Halvorson says on a 911 tape released by the Bakersfield Fire Department aired by several media outlets. (AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The company that operates a California elder care facility where a woman died after being denied CPR says the employee who refused to cooperate with a 911 dispatcher did not understand company policies.

The woman at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield identified herself as a nurse to the dispatcher, but said her company's policies did not allow staff to provide CPR to residents in distress.

Eighty-seven-year-old Lorraine Bayless died Feb. 26 after collapsing in the facility's dining room.

The dispatcher pleaded with the employee to administer aid or pass the phone to someone who would.

Parent company Brookdale Senior Living said in a statement Tuesday that the incident "resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice" regarding emergency care.

Brookdale says that employee is on voluntary leave while the company investigates.