Iowa: Nursing home brings supposed dead in body bag to undertaker

US state of Iowa
She gasped: Nursing home sends supposedly dead woman in a body bag to the undertaker

The Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale, Iowa. Here a patient was hastily declared dead.

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Scary incident in the US state of Iowa: A 66-year-old was pronounced dead in a nursing home, placed in a body bag and taken to a funeral home. There employees found: The woman is struggling for air.

A nursing home in the US state of Iowa allowed a woman to be taken to a funeral home in a body bag, although she was still alive. US media reports that employees at the company in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, discovered that the supposedly dead woman was still breathing. “The funeral home staff opened the bag and found that Resident #1’s chest was moving and she was gasping for air,” quotes the US broadcaster NBC News from a report by the state’s regulatory agency. The undertaker then dialed the emergency number and informed the home.

“Her mouth was open, her eyes were staring”

A nurse at Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center, who worked a 12-hour shift, said early on January 3 that the patient was not breathing and had no pulse. writes the Associated Press (AP) news agency citing the report. The nurse informed a nurse who had looked after the 66-year-old throughout the night. The woman examined this for about five minutes, but was also unable to determine any pulse or breathing activity.

“Her mouth was open, her eyes were fixed, and there were no breath sounds,” the report said, according to NBC News. A nurse could not find a pulse in the woman even with her stethoscope. The nurse put her hand on the woman’s stomach and “didn’t notice any movement”. She assumed the patient had died.

The patient was reportedly pronounced dead at around 6:30am and family members were contacted – around 90 minutes after the nurse’s first call. About an hour later, an employee of the funeral home and a second nurse placed the woman in the body bag and took her to the undertaker’s vehicle. They also found no signs of life. A little later, the patient was driven to the undertaker. There, employees discovered shortly before 8:30 a.m. that the woman was still alive and alerted rescue workers.

The woman was first taken to an emergency room and later taken back to her hospice, it said. Two days later she died in the presence of her family. She had been admitted there on December 28 due to “senile degeneration of the brain”.

Iowa authorities fine care center

The Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center was fined $10,000 — the maximum penalty allowed under Iowa law — for the incident, according to NBC News. The care center “failed to provide the necessary instructions to ensure that appropriate care and services were provided,” the control authority justified the penalty. And it failed to ensure that the woman received “dignified treatment and care” at the end of her life.

Sources: NBC News, Associated Press


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