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It sounds like the plot of a Twilight Zone episode, but it really happened. An Iowa woman was mistakenly pronounced dead and placed in a body bag. However, that was a mistake.
Now, the care facility where it happened is facing some major questions… and fines.
According to Des Moines TV station KCCI, Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale, Iowa, is facing a $10,000 after mistakenly pronouncing a 66-year-old woman dead.
Late last year, staff moved the woman into hospice care at the facility. The woman suffered from “senile degeneration of the brain.” Just a few days later, on Jan. 3, staff observed several minor seizures and “diminished” lung sounds. They soon pronounced her dead.
A report from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals says a staff member “did not feel a pulse” and found the “resident was not breathing at that time” at around 6 am. The family was notified and a funeral home was called in. A funeral home employee and a nurse loaded the woman into a body bag and zipped it shut.
About an hour later, the bag was opened at the funeral home. At that point, staff noticed her chest moving and she started gasping for air.
They called 911, and EMTs arrived on the scene to assist the woman. They took her back to the facility and died two days later surrounded by family.
“We have been in close communication with the family of the resident, and we just completed an investigation by the Department of Inspections and Appeals regarding the matter,” the facility’s executive director Lisa Eastman told KCCI.
The facility is facing two violations from the incident, and is facing $10,000 in fines.
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