A hospice care facility has been fined $10,000 after health workers mistakenly pronounced a woman in their care dead.
The woman was found alive inside a body bag at a crematorium more than two hours later, according to a report by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals.
The 66-year-old woman was admitted to the hospice care unit of the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale on December 28, the report filed Wednesday, February 1, said.
As the patient’s condition worsened, a staff member indicated that he had died on the morning of 3 January.
“(The worker) reported that the resident’s eyes were open,” the report said. “She felt her neck over the carotid artery and listened to his chest. Her pulse was not felt and the resident was not breathing at that time. She realized that the resident had passed away and informed the nurse.
At 6 a.m. a nurse assessed the woman’s condition for five minutes and also presumed that she had died. The facility then called the woman’s family members and the funeral home, according to the inspectors’ report.
According to the report, a funeral home director arrived at 7:38 a.m. and “placed the woman inside a cloth bag and closed it.”
But when the funeral home staff opened the body bag at 8:26 a.m., they found the woman’s chest moving and gasping for air, the inspector said.
Paramedics registered a pulse on the woman, but said “there was no eye movement, no verbal or vocal response and no motor response.”
As per reports, he was admitted to Dharamshala and died two days later with his family by his side.
The state inspector said the hospice did not treat the resident with dignity and did not provide her with appropriate care. A month-long investigation resulted in a state fine of $10,000.
“We care deeply about our residents and we are fully committed to their end-of-life care,” Lisa Eastman, executive director of the facility, said in a statement. for the Des Moines Register, “All of our staff are given regular training on how to best support end-of-life care and death transition for our residents.”
The Urbandale facility is approximately 8 miles from Des Moines.
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