Alzheimer's facility fined $10k after "dead" resident discovered breathing in a body bag

Originally published at: Alzheimer's facility fined $10k after "dead" resident discovered breathing in a body bag | Boing Boing


Yikes all around.

Not very often that funeral homes get repeat customers.


Yeah, those kind of folk tend to be into DIY Funerals; with bolts on the inside of the coffin.



Call me old-fashioned, but don’t they have procedures for declaring someone dead? Back when I worked in a hospital there was paperwork for this and none of the boxes you vould check said: “doesn’t breathe much”


I’ve had experience with hospice 3 times in the last few years, they are the best of the best and I’m inclined to cut them some slack but if you put my wife in a body bag while she’s still breathing and I’m not sure what I’d do.


When I start falling apart- I’m ending myself. This is how they treat old, vulnerable cisgender people - I don’t even want to imagine how they’ll treat us.


To be fair, there is a whole (rare) phenomenon - “Lazarus Syndrome” - where people appear dead (i.e. undetectable heartbeat and breathing) and then perk up later (and then often die). So it wasn’t necessarily incompetence on the part of the staff here, and there may not have been anything they could have done for a better outcome.


I’ve been with someone as they died in a hospital and was there when the death was “called”, and it’s rather distressingly subjective, or appears to be; there’s no hooking up see if there are brainwaves, for example.


Maybe the doctors here can weigh in, but I thought I’ve read somewhere that determining exact moment of death isn’t actually that easy. Like, people stop breathing and then start again a minute later, that sort of thing. It can be a long tail, back-and-forth sorta thing. I could be totally wrong about this- this is strictly something I thought I read somewhere and I am not a medical professional or any stripe.


I imagine there will be a vitals check when the next patient checks-out.

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I had the same experience when my MIL passed; her breathing and pulse gradually diminished to imperceptibly but there wasn’t any single moment that clearly delineated “alive” and “dead.” She was hooked up to some monitors for vital signs but at least to my eye they were telling the same story. I wasn’t even sure it was really over until a nurse came in and started switching everything off.




I’m sorry for your loss.

The slowing of the breathing was my observation too. At that point, although he had been in a coma for a day or two, knowing that sometimes coma patients can still hear, I told him that it was okay to go.

In this particular case, I was the only one in the room, there were no monitors (that I recall, but my recollection may be flawed; it was a weird day), and I waited for a few minutes after breathing stopped to go and get a nurse, who came and checked his pulse and confirmed death. There were not extraordinary measures that could be taken, he was terminally ill, so there was no point in calling for medical assistance for lifesaving procedures.


Sorry for your loss as well. I think this is a common experience when the outcome is a foregone conclusion and it’s just a matter of waiting for the end.

Sometimes there’s neither a bang nor a whimper.


They should have fined them to death.


There there, just be curious about senolytic therapy like low-freq. ultrasound instead of holding your breath to see if it hurts less. (With Alz. so you keep asking 237 times and change.)

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