A shocking incident recently occurred at an Alzheimer’s Special Care Centre in Iowa, USA, where a 66-year-old woman was mistakenly declared dead.
According to a report from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, care workers believed that the woman had passed away in the morning hours of January 3. The hospice care facility has since been fined for their mistake.
Early condition of the patient
The patient was admitted to the facility on December 28 after being diagnosed with senile degeneration of the brain.
As her condition deteriorated, staff members noticed some signs that led them to believe she had died and reported her death to authorities.
According to the report, “the worker reported the resident’s eyes were open; she felt her neck at the carotid artery and listened to her chest. She did not feel a pulse, and the resident was not breathing at that time. She felt the resident had passed away and notified the nurse.”
The alive patient was declared dead
Woman Found Alive and 'Gasping for Air' in Body Bag at Iowa Funeral Home pic.twitter.com/l6lucNLAV9
— insan (@HEALTHWEALTHWI2) February 3, 2023
A nurse also observed the woman for five minutes at 6 a.m. and assumed she had died. Upon confirmation, the facility notified the woman’s family member and reached out to a funeral home.
The director of the funeral home arrived at 7:38 am and placed her body in a cloth bag, zipping it shut.
However, at 8:26 am, when the funeral home workers unzipped the bag, they were startled to find that the woman’s chest was moving, and she was gasping for air, according to the report. This unexpected situation made them realize that their initial assessment was incorrect.
Hospice care facility got fined
The state’s inspector determined that the resident had not been granted proper care or respect with dignity during her stay at the hospice facility. As a result, the facility was issued a US$10,000 fine following their month-long investigation.
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