The 911 tape of last week's incident at Glenwood Gardens in Bakersfield has been played on national news and has created a buzz across the country. Glenwood Gardens is owned by Brookdale Senior Living, based in Tennessee. It is the nation's largest owner and operator of senior living communities, with more than 645 facilities.
And, the 911 tape has created concern with many, that what happened here could happen at all of the other facilities.
It's now the call heard across the country. It was placed from Glenwood Gardens last Tuesday. A nurse calls in to report 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless, who does not have a DNR, is barely breathing on the ground. Despite the 911 operator's pleas, the nurse refuses to perform CPR saying it's against company policy.
The tape has been played on NBC Nightly News. And, it was a hot topic Monday morning on The Today Show. Medical contributor Dr. Roshini Raj, commented on Glenwood Garden's policy.
"There was a policy in place here. I personally don't agree with those types of policies," said Dr. Raj.
National news satellite trucks have been covering the story from outside the independent living facility, and people seeing it have been firing back online. Glenwood Gardens' parent company, Brookdale Senior Living, has a Facebook page that is filled with comments. One calls it a "death facility." Another says, "If you fall over, they are not going to do CPR." And, some claim their comments were deleted.
On Yelp, there are similar sentiments. People from all over the country, again and again, are giving Bakersfield's Glenwood Gardens a one-star rating. One person commented, they wished they could rate lower. Another commented on Yelp saying, "It's where Heaven is just a phone call away." It seems to be the start of a public relations nightmare, as former prosecutor and legal commentator, Star Jones put it on "Today," that possibly might not have been avoided.
"But, the problem then becomes are we looking at a legal responsibility versus a social responsibility? And, the doctor rightly suggests that she might have lost her job, but think about the P.R. nightmare of this woman losing her job for trying to help an elderly woman and prevent her from dying," said Jones.
We tried repeatedly Monday to get in touch with Brookdale Senior Living to comment. They did not return our phone calls or e-mails. However, a company spokesperson, Matt Fontana talked to CNN.
When asked why, since the building where the incident took place is an independent living facility, would there be a nurse there if the staff is prohibited from performing medical care? Fontana wrote, "(Colleen) was hired to be the resident services director and that is the capacity in which she was serving. Glenwood Gardens is an independent living facility which, by law, is not licensed to provide medical care to any of its residents."