Funeral home staff unzips body bag only to find ‘deceased’ woman gasping for air

A care facility in Iowa that provides care for people with Alzheimer’s is being fined $10,000 for incorrectly pronouncing a woman dead. The mistake was discovered when a funeral director opened the woman’s body bag, to find that she was still alive. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has issued documents regarding the incident.

A woman aged 66 years old, who has kept her identity a secret, was checked into the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center located in Urbandale, Iowa on the 20th December. Reportedly, her admission was due to “senile degeneration of the brain” according to the relevant documents. She was placed into hospice care on the 28th December.

On the 3rd of January, a report was released. It stated that at 6:00 am, Resident #1 had an open mouth, her eyes were still, and there were no signs of breathing. The nurse attempted to find Resident #1’s heartbeat using her stethoscope, but was unsuccessful. The nurse then put her hand on Resident #1’s abdomen and discovered that there was no movement. The family of Resident #1 was informed and a funeral home was contacted as per records.

At approximately 7:38 am, a nurse and a funeral director from Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory arrived to collect the body of a woman, but there were no indications that she was alive.

However, according to a report, a peculiar thing happened when the woman’s body bag was unzipped. The staff at the funeral home unzipped the bag, and the supposedly dead woman gasped for air.

The woman was first brought to a nearby hospital for treatment, where medical personnel found her to be breathing but unresponsive. On January 3rd, she was transferred back to the hospice. However, she died the following day with her family accompanying her at her bedside.