Sunday, February 12, 2023

February 12, 1987: Dead After Planned Parenthood Botches CPR

On February 10, 1987, an ambulance arrived at an outpatient surgical facility to care for an unresponsive patient. The woman had begun having asthma symptoms after her surgery. Staff had twice helped her to use her inhaler, but she had more and more trouble breathing. She had begun to turn blue and staff had administered oxygen. Finally, she had stopped breathing entirely.

The ambulance crew found the patient, 22-year-old Elise Kalat, lying on the floor. One facility employee was doing the CPR compressions on Elise's abdomen rather than on her chest. Another employee was using the bag-valve mask improperly, inflating Elise's cheeks rather than her lungs. 

The doctor at the facility was under the impression that the CPR was effective because he was checking for a pulse in the patient's femoral artery, which was pulsing because the nurse was pressing so hard on Elise's abdomen and not because blood was actually circulating.

Nobody had initiated professional level resuscitation procedures such as intubating the patient, defibrillating her, monitoring her cardiac signs on EKG, or administering cardiac medications.

The ambulance crew loaded Elise onto a stretcher. One EMT noted, "As my partner and I attempted to strap the patient onto the stretcher, the personnel [of the facility] began to run with the stretcher down the corridor. There appeared to me to be much confusion with no organization among the staff.... "

Medics took over Elsie's care. She was finally successfully resuscitated at the hospital, but due to the improperly performed CPR she had suffered devastating brain injury. Her condition continued to deteriorate and she died on February 12.

The outpatient surgical facility was Planned Parenthood Clinic of Central Massachusetts. The procedure in question had been an 8-week abortion. When Elise's mother sued she learned that neither of the two nurses who had been botching the CPR had kept their certifications current. 

You don't have to oppose abortion to recognize -- and be appalled by -- incompetence that costs a young woman her life.

Watch Clueless CPR = Dead Patient on YouTube.

  • Lawsuit documents, including expert reviews, incident reports by EMTs, and Elise's death certificate.

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