A Brazilian woman being treated in hospital for pneumonia was given up for dead by her doctors and sent to the morgue where her daughter later found her alive, newspaper reports say.

According to the O Globo newspaper, Rosa Celestrino de Assis, who is in her 60s, spent at least two hours in a plastic body bag after her physician reportedly felt no vital signs, ran tests and pronounced her dead.

Later, the woman’s daughter Rosangela Celestrino went to the morgue and found her mother breathing.

"I went to give my mum one last hug, and I could feel that she was breathing. I screamed out - my mum is alive! And they all looked at me like I was crazy," Celestrino, the patient's daughter, told O Globo newspaper.

Hospital officials say Rosa had two strokes and had been on assisted breathing.

At 7:30pm local time on Friday, a nurse phoned the attending doctor because she did not show vital signs. The doctor confirmed her death and sent her to the morgue, AFP reports.

Hospital director Manoel Moreira Filho said the mistake was identified at about 10pm, and the patient was immediately intubated and put back on life support.

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