Iowa care centre sends still-live resident to funeral home in body bag
An Iowa care centre mistakenly sent a still-live resident to a funeral home inside a body bag, according to authorities.
When a worker unzipped the body bag they saw the woman’s chest moving and she suddenly gasped for air, state inspectors reported.
First responders were called to the Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory on 3 January and found she was breathing and still had a pulse.
She was taken to the hospital and then back to the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale where she died two days later her surrounded by her family. The facility has now been fined $10,000 by the state.
The state’s report says that an employee at the facility checked on the resident and found that she had no pulse or signs of breathing. The worker told inspectors that she “felt the resident had passed away”.
The nurse said that believing the resident was dead she notified the family and the funeral home was notified, KCCI reported.
When the funeral home director arrived at the facility the woman was placed on a gurney and inside a cloth body bag and it was zipped shut. She was then transferred to the funeral home where the mistake was discovered.
State records say that the woman was admitted to Glen Oaks in December 2021, with end-stage, early-onset dementia, anxiety and depression.
It was cited by the state for failing to treat residents with dignity and failing to provide appropriate care and services for residents at the end of life.
“We have been in close communication with the family of the resident, and we just completed an investigation by the Department of Inspections and Appeals regarding the matter. We care deeply for our residents and remain fully committed to supporting their end-of-life care,” Lisa Eastman, Executive Director of Glen Oaks told KCCI.
“All employees undergo regular training so they can best support end-of-life care and the death of our residents.”