A Patient Declared Dead Is Found in a Body Bag Gasping for Air
Iowa's Health Department reported that Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center in Urbandale was fined $10,000 after a Jan. 3 incident in which a 66-year-old patient was declared dead and transported to a funeral home but found to be alive and gasping for air when funeral home staff opened the body bag. The patient was transported to an emergency room but had a do-not-resuscitate directive so was returned to the care center, where she died two days later. The fine was for two violations, including a rule stating that care homes must preserve the dignity of residents. The report does not indicate what actions were taken with regard to the nurse who had pronounced the patient dead. State Health Department records show that the center or its administrator, Dallas-based Frontier Management, has been fined over a dozen times since 2001, with violations including a lack of specialized staff training in memory care and a lack of infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, on Feb. 4, an 82-year-old patient at the Water's Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson, New York, was declared dead but later found to be breathing at a funeral home and taken to a hospital. The incident is being investigated by the Suffolk County Policy Department and has been referred to the New York Attorney General's Office.
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