82-year-old woman pronounced dead at nursing home, but funeral home found her breathing: Authorities

An elderly woman pronounced dead at a Long Island nursing home was reportedly discovered to be breathing within an hour of being brought to a funeral home.

The 82-year-old woman, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson, New York, at around 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, Suffolk County police said in a report by NBC New York Affiliate WNBC.

She was taken to O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Miller Place, about six miles away, at around 1:30 p.m., the outlet said.

Within an hour, funeral home employees noticed that the woman was breathing. She was then taken to a hospital, according to the report. The woman’s name hasn’t been released.

“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 funeral home reportedly said in a statement.

The matter has been referred to New York state authorities.

“This is an awful situation that has caused unnecessary trauma for the impacted resident and her loved ones,” a spokesperson for New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement emailed to Law&Crime. “The Office of the Attorney General is looking into the incident.”

The nursing home did not immediately respond to a Law&Crime request for comment.

The Long Island incident echoes a similar situation in Iowa earlier this year.

On Jan. 3, a nurse at the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale determined that a 66-year-old woman in hospice care had died, NBC News reported. The nurse said she was unable to find a pulse and there was no movement in her abdomen to indicate breathing. The patient was then transferred to a funeral home, where a funeral director placed the woman’s body on a gurney inside a cloth bag and zipped it shut.

Within an hour, staff members at the funeral home discovered that the woman was still alive. She was taken to the emergency room before being returned to hospice care, where she died two days later. The hospital facility was fined $10,000.

Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.

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