The staff of a funeral home in the USA have been left shaken after it was found that a 'dead body' collected from a care home was, in fact, alive.
The unnamed woman, who was placed inside a zipped body bag, was found to be breathing by staff at Ankey Funeral Home & Crematory in Iowa.
On making the alarming discovery, staff at the funeral home called 911 after which she was taken to a local hospital where she was found by doctors to be breathing but unresponsive.
The woman was then brought to hospice care where she died two days later surrounded by her family.
The Iowa care home which had been caring for the 66-year-old Alzheimer's resident is now being fined $10,000 for failing to provide adequate direction to ensure appropriate care and services were provided before the woman was declared dead.
During an investigation by The Department of Inspection, a staff member and a nurse both claimed that they failed to locate a pulse and it was evident that the woman was not breathing.
Furthermore, a funeral home employee and a second nurse practitioner who placed the woman inside the body bag an hour after the woman had been declared dead also found no signs of life.
Following the investigation, The Department of Inspection found that the care home "failed to provide adequate direction to ensure appropriate cares and services were provided” before the woman was declared dead.
Executive director of Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Centre, Linda Eastman, said in a statement that the centre remains committed to supporting end-of-life care: “All of our employees are given regular training in how best to support end-of-life care and the death transition for our residents."
Police are not pursuing any criminal charges in the case.