Woman Pronounced Dead Found Breathing in Funeral Home

(Daily360.com) A 74 year old woman in Lincoln, Nebraska was found to be breathing in a funeral home hours after she was pronounced dead.

Constance Glantz was presumed dead by nursing home staff at 9:45 a.m. in the morning and sent to a funeral home. The funeral home employee placed Glantz on the table to begin the process and realized that she was still breathing. The employee contacted 911 immediately.

She was given CPR, transported to a hospital, and found to be still alive. The nursing home is being investigated, but Sheriff Ben Houchin said there is no evidence of criminal intent by the nursing home staff. Sheriff Houchin called the situation “unusual,” and said he hasn’t seen anything like it during his 31 years on the police force.

Glantz was in hospice care at the time, which means she had been expected to die soon. For that reason, there is no alarm or suspicion regarding the wrongful pronunciation of her death. A physician had seen her within the last week and was ready to sign the death certificate.

Houchin announced that on the afternoon of June 4, she was pronounced dead once again. Houchin stressed that the nursing home didn’t do anything wrong in their handling of Glantz, it was just an unusual situation.

There have been other cases in which a person pronounced dead was later found to still be alive. A 76 year old woman in Ecuador was said to be dead last June, but was still alive when the funeral home opened the coffin to change her clothing. In 2018, a woman in South Africa was pronounced dead only to be found still alive in the mortuary refrigerator.

Dr. Stephen Hughes told reporters that death can be a slow process, which can lead to rare cases where it seems a person is not breathing anymore. He also said that drugs given to hospice care patients may also cause their body to slow down. That could give the appearance that somebody is dead when they really are not.

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