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Dead woman starts breathing at US funeral home

February 4, 2023 09:53 AM


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A 66-year-old woman declared dead was found breathing in a body bag at a funeral home in the US state of Iowa on Thursday.

The woman was declared dead by the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Centre in Des Moines, Iowa. The care home Centre was fined USD 10,000 after the woman “declared dead” was found alive on January 3.

According to a report by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals, the woman was diagnosed with dementia, anxiety and depression. She was placed in a body bag and was sent to the Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory.

After receiving the body bag, the workers discovered that the woman inside it was breathing. They immediately called the emergency number 199 and sent her to Mercy West Lakes Hospital.

She was said to be breathing in the hospital but was unable to respond.

The woman was then brought back from the funeral home to the hospice care Centre and she died on January 5. The woman was in hospice care since December 28.

During the investigation, a Glen Oaks staff member revealed that on early January 3, the woman wasn’t breathing and that there was no pulse recorded. The condition of the woman was initially reported to a nurse practitioner.

The woman was then put under the supervision of the nurse practitioner throughout the night. The nurse also claimed that she was unable to record any pulse of the elderly woman and that she was not breathing.

The Inspection and Appeals report also stated that the funeral home employee and a second nurse practitioner who were asked to put the body inside the body bag also stated the same thing.

The old woman was declared dead at 6.30 am, which was around 90 minutes after the staff reported her health status.

The care centre reportedly couldn’t provide adequate direction to ensure appropriate care and services to the woman, before she was declared dead.

According to media reports, Executive Director of Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Centre, Lisa Eastman, said the centre deeply cared about its residents and was committed to supporting end-of-life care.

Eastman further said, “All of our employees are given regular training in how best to support end-of-life care and the death transition for our residents.”



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