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Woman found gasping for air in body bag after being presumed dead

Woman found gasping for air in body bag after being presumed dead

The care centre that declared her dead has been fined $10,000

A woman was discovered gasping for air inside a body bag after she was presumed dead at her care home and sent to a funeral home.

On an unrelated note, I think my worst fear in the world has just been realised.

A 66-year-old woman was seen by three different staff members at the care facility and a funeral home employee before someone discovered that she was, in fact, still alive.

Just days after she was moved into The Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center in Iowa, the unnamed woman was declared dead on 3 January after nursing staff said they couldn't find a pulse.

Staff at the care centre didn't realise that the woman was still alive.
Google Maps/ Glen Oaks Alzheimers Special Care Centre

It's understood that the woman, who suffered from early onset dementia as well as anxiety and depression, had been sent to the hospice care centre in late December.

A report found that a staff member on the end of a 12-hour shift spotted the woman and quickly alerted a nurse practitioner, who couldn't find a heartbeat or any evidence of a heartbeat.

By 6.30am, just over an hour after the first staff member called for help, the woman was declared dead by staff.

Later that morning, another nurse practitioner and an employee from the Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory - who still didn't notice any signs of life - transferred the woman's body to the funeral home in a body bag.

It wasn't until she got to the funeral home that anyone realised she was still breathing.
Google Maps/ Glen Oaks Alzheimers Special Care Centre

It was then, approximately two hours after she had been declared dead, that funeral home staff opened the body bag to find that the resident's 'chest was moving and she was gasping for air', according to a report by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Staff at the funeral home called 911 right away and the woman was rushed to hospital where she was marked unresponsive but breathing.

The woman was eventually brought back to the hospice care centre but died just two days later with her family by her bedside.

Although authorities have decided not to pursue criminal charges against the care centre, they have since been fined $10,000 for the mix up.

The care facility has been fined $10,000.
Google Maps/ Glen Oaks Alzheimers Special Care Centre

Executive Director of the Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Centre Lisa Eastman issued a comment on the report findings, assuring that her staff cares 'deeply for our residents and remain fully committed to supporting their end-of-life care'.

She added: "All of our employees are given regular training in how best to support end-of-life care and the death transition for our residents."

Featured Image Credit: Gina Kelly / Alamy picture Partners / Alam

Topics: US News, News