Only three hours after she was pronounced dead, an 82-year-old woman was found to be breathing at a New York funeral home where she had been transported, police said.
The incident comes less than a week after a hospice patient in Iowa was discovered gasping for breath inside a body bag despite being presumed dead.
The unnamed woman from Long Island, N.Y., was declared dead at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday at the Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center, according to Suffolk County police. She was transferred to OB Davis Funeral Homes in Miller Place, N.Y., at 1:30 p.m.
She was discovered breathing at 2:09 p.m., police said.
The woman was then transferred to hospital. Her current condition is not publicly known.
In a statement to local news outlet ABC-7, the funeral home said, “Out of respect for the privacy and confidentiality of the families we are honored to serve, we are not in a position to comment further on this matter.”
The nursing home has yet to make a public statement.
The Associated Press reported that the case will be investigated by the state attorney general’s office. The New York health department is also investigating.
“This is an awful situation that has caused unnecessary trauma for the impacted resident and her loved ones,” a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office told NBC.
A similarly awful situation in Iowa occurred on Jan. 3 when a 66-year-old woman with early-onset dementia was declared dead at Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale. After she was transported to a funeral home and discovered to be alive, the unnamed woman was taken to hospital. She died two days later.
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals has fined the hospice facility US$10,000 for the incident, the maximum allowed under Iowa law, for failure to provide “dignified treatment and care at end of life.”
— With files from Global News’ Kathryn Mannie