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Nurses failed to give nursing home resident CPR, health department says

The resident wasn't breathing and didn't have a pulse.

A Minneapolis nursing home has been cited for neglect after three nurses failed to give a resident CPR, despite an order saying life-saving measures should be used if the resident didn't have a pulse and wasn't breathing.

The Minnesota Department of Health recently released its report on the December 2016 incident, which happened at the Walker Methodist Health Center in Minneapolis.

According to the report:

After being brought back into their room from lunch, the resident's blood pressure was taken by one nurse – but it didn't register anything. She didn't take the resident's pulse.

The nurse then got the nursing supervisor, who came in about 10 minutes later and found the resident's skin blue and cool to the touch, and noticed the resident wasn't breathing. The resident's pulse was then taken, and the supervisor determined the resident was dead. That was then verified by a nursing administrator.

The nurse nor supervisor nor administrator did CPR, despite them all reading the provider order saying life-saving measures should be used if the resident didn't have a pulse or wasn't breathing.

The nursing supervisor said they didn't do CPR because the resident was expected to die soon and the resident's family knew their health was declining. The family had considered changing the resident's provider order to "do not resuscitate," but that hadn't been done prior to the resident's death.

As a result, the Minnesota Department of Health found that the facility was responsible for the neglect. The health department says that despite training, the facility had no system to make sure staff followed a resident's provider order.

The Star Tribune says since the patient's death, all the facility's nurses have been trained on emergency response guidelines and what to do when they find someone who isn't breathing and doesn't have a pulse.

This marks the third substantiated complaint against the facility in the past few years, according to the health department's website.

When asked for comment about the most recent incident, the Walker Methodist Health Center told GoMN:

"Out of respect for the resident involved we cannot speak to the specifics of this situation. We fully cooperated with the Minnesota Department of Health. As an organization, we are continuously reviewing all policies and training to ensure the well-being of our residents."

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