66-Year-Old Woman Mistakenly Declared Dead Wakes Up In Body Bag ‘Gasping For Air,’ Reports Say

Jessica Tan/ Unsplash

An Iowa woman, 66, reportedly woke up in a body bag

“gasping for air”

after her nursing home thought she died and sent her to a funeral home, reports the New York Post

The nursing home, Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, is currently facing $10,000 in fines after three workers weren’t able to detect whether the woman was still alive. A release report by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals noted that the woman died two days after the incident. 

The incident occurred when an employee couldn’t find the 66-year-old woman’s pulse. Reports added that the patient had early-onset dementia and anxiety. Six days before she was mistakenly declared dead, she was transferred to the facility’s hospice. According to a report, the unidentified patient suffered from small seizures and had


lung noises as well as showcased indications of

“mottled skin,”

reports The Post. The employee, who was at the end of her 12-hour shift, informed a nurse practitioner, who told officials that she failed to see the woman breathing and couldn’t find her pulse. The patient was later declared dead at 6:30 a.m. 

Another nurse practitioner and a funeral home staff member placed her in a bodybag as they also thought she was dead. The 66-year-old patient was transported to the Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory, where other workers realized she wasn’t dead. 

A report said,

“At approximately 8:26 a.m. funeral home staff unzipped the bag and observed Resident #1’s chest was moving and she was gasping for air.” 

The funeral home contacted first responders and she was taken to a local hospital. Although she was breathing, the woman was unresponsive. The woman was then taken back to hospice, where she passed away two days later with her family beside her. 

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