66 year old woman found ‘gasping for air’ inside a body bag at a funeral home after being wrongfully declared dead
Lowa hospice has been fined $10,000 after a funeral home discovered a woman sent to it in a body bag was still alive and ‘gasping for air’.
Officials say the 66-year-old woman was declared dead at the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Centre in Urbandale on January 3.
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The woman, whose name has not been released, had early onset dementia, anxiety and depression and had been in hospice care since December 28.
She was placed in a zipped body bag and taken to the Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory, the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals said in a report filed on Wednesday.
At approximately 8.26am funeral home staff unzipped the bag and observed Resident #1’s chest was moving and she was gasping for air,’ the report states.
Workers then called 911.
When emergency medical services responded, they were able to record a pulse and a shallow breath, according to the report.
She was taken to Mercy West Lakes Hospital, where she was breathing but unresponsive.
The woman was ultimately returned to hospice care, where she died on January 5 with her family by her side, according to the report.
A Glen Oaks staff member who had worked a 12-hour shift and was on the team caring for the woman told investigators she first reported to a nurse practitioner early on January 3 that the woman was not breathing and had no pulse.
The nurse practitioner was also unable to find a pulse and said the woman was not breathing.
She continued to assess the woman for about five minutes before determining the woman had died.