Two similar and shocking stories have been reported recently about persons found breathing after being declared dead and sent to funeral homes. The first case involved the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale, Iowa. The latest incident occurred last Saturday at the Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson, New York.
In this case, a licensed practical nurse pronounced a woman dead at 6 a.m. on January 3 and sent her to the Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory. An employee at the funeral home later found the woman gasping for air inside a cloth bag and called for emergency services.
The 911 recording indicated the worker told the emergency dispatcher: “Umm, just so you know, this female was transported there deceased, and she is not. They are in the chapel, and she is on a cot.”
Another woman who had been pronounced dead was found breathing at a funeral home, this time in New York https://t.co/vrgXDsudAY
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Emergency medical personnel arrived shortly after that and were able to detect a heartbeat. However, the woman had no eye movement and remained unresponsive. Despite prolonged efforts to revive her, she died two days later in the hospital surrounded by family members.
The Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center was fined $10,000 over two violations related to the incident in Iowa.
Glen Oaks executive director Lisa Eastman told the media after the fine was announced: “We have been in close communication with the resident’s family, and we just completed an investigation by the Department of Inspections and Appeals regarding the matter.”
“We care deeply for our residents and remain fully committed to supporting their end-of-life care. All employees undergo regular training so they can best support end-of-life care and the death of our residents,” Eastman added.
In the latest case, an 82-year-old woman was pronounced dead at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday and sent to the O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Miller Place. She was discovered to be breathing at 2:09 p.m. and taken to a nearby hospital. Her condition remains unknown to the public.
Both cases have been referred to law enforcement officials for further investigation. A spokesperson for the O.B. Davis Funeral Home has declined to comment on the recent case in New York, citing privacy concerns.
This string of cases has sparked concern among healthcare providers, families, and funeral home employees, who rely on accurate and reliable death certificates to ensure their loved ones receive proper and respectful burials. Investigations are underway to uncover the reasons behind these incidents and ensure that the proper protocols are in place to prevent similar cases from happening in the future.