N.Y. Nursing Home Under Investigation After Woman Declared Dead Found Breathing at Funeral Home
A New York nursing home is under investigation after a woman was pronounced dead only to be found breathing a few hours later at a funeral home on Saturday.
The incident happened at the Water's Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson, the Suffolk County Police Department tells PEOPLE in a statement. The woman, 82, was pronounced dead at 11:15 a.m. and transported to the O.B. Davis Funeral Home in Miller Place at 1:30 p.m. She was later discovered breathing at 2:09 p.m., according to the Suffolk County police.
She was transported to a local hospital, according to Suffolk County police. They did not provide an update on her status on Monday.
Suffolk County police tell PEOPLE they referred the case to the New York State Attorney General's Office.
"This is an awful situation that has caused unnecessary trauma for the impacted resident and her loved ones," a spokesperson for the AG's office told PEOPLE. "The Office of the Attorney General is looking into the incident."
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Water's Edge Rehab and Nursing Center in Port Jefferson, on the north shore of Long Island, did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment on Monday, but the nursing home told WABC News in New York, that, "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 nursing home is also under investigation by the New York State Department of Health.
In a statement to PEOPLE, Department of Health Public Information Officer Monica Pomeroy said: "Upon learning of this incident, the New York State Department of Health has begun an investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment at this time."
A similar incident happened in Iowa on Jan. 3 when a 66-year-old woman began to gasp for air after the body bag she was in was unzipped at a funeral home there.
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In that incident, the Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center received a $10,000 fine after an investigation by the Health Facilities Division of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, which oversees health facility safety.
The woman was taken to the hospital and then re-released to the care center, where she died two days later.
"We just completed an investigation by the Department of Inspections and Appeals regarding the matter," Lisa Eastman, executive director for the care center, told PEOPLE at the time. "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."