According to a notice on the website of the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals, a woman who was presumed deceased was later discovered to be alive at a funeral parlor.
According to the files, the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale was penalized $10,000 due to the error.
The data indicate that a 66-year-old female patient checked into the facility in December of 2021. About a year and a half later, on December 28th, 2022, she entered a hospice.
According to the report, a licensed practical nurse pronounced the woman dead on January 3. There were no signs of breathing, and the nurse reported that the woman’s eyes were unmoving.
According to the report, the nurse felt no movement when she placed her hand on the woman’s stomach to check for a pulse.
The woman was taken by a funeral home after they were contacted. The funeral director stated they observed no vital signs from the female body before placing her inside a cloth bag and securing the zipper.
The funeral home staff unzipped the bag and saw the woman’s chest move as she gasped for air when she arrived. A 911 call was placed by the funeral home.
It was discovered by paramedics that the woman was breathing and had a pulse, but she was not making any eye contact or making any sounds. She was admitted to the hospital, and on January 3 she was sent home to continue receiving hospice care in her Glen Oaks residence. On the fifth, two days later, she passed away peacefully in the company of loved ones.
The center’s director, Lisa Eastman, issued a statement to Local 5 News.
“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. All employees undergo regular training so they can best support end-of-life care and the death of our residents.”
The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals states that the administrative code of the state lays out the deadlines and choices available to Glen Oaks in responding to the citation.
The facility can get a 35% discount on the fine if it doesn’t fight the citation and pays it within 30 days.