AP

Funeral home finds woman breathing hours after declared dead

Feb 6, 2023, 9:01 AM | Updated: Feb 9, 2023, 11:26 am

MILLER PLACE, N.Y. (AP) — An 82-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a New York nursing home but found to be breathing three hours later at the funeral home where she had been taken, authorities said.

The woman was pronounced dead at Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center at Port Jefferson on Long Island at 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Suffolk County police said.

The woman, whose name was not released, was taken to the O.B. Davis Funeral Homes in Miller Place at 1:30 p.m., police said in a news release. She was discovered breathing at 2:09 p.m., they said.

The woman was taken to a hospital. No update on her condition was available Monday.

The case has been referred to the state attorney general’s office for investigation, police said.

The state health department is investigating, as well, spokesperson Monica Pomeroy said, adding that she could not elaborate.

An email seeking comment was sent to the nursing home. A person who answered the phone there Monday hung up.

Officials at the funeral home said in a statement, “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 apparent premature declaration of death occurred days after a continuing care home in Iowa was fined $10,000 over a similar episode.

Authorities there said a 66-year-old woman was declared dead Jan. 3 at the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale, where she was receiving hospice care.

The woman was placed in a body bag and taken to the Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory, where workers found she was breathing and called 911, authorities said.

She was returned to hospice care, where she died Jan. 5, according to a report issued last week by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals.

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Funeral home finds woman breathing hours after declared dead