An 82-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a New York nursing home only to be found breathing three hours later at the funeral home where she had been taken, authorities said.
It was the second time in about a month something of the sort has happened in the US, according to officials.
The woman in the more recent case was at Water’s Edge Rehab and Nursing Center at Long Island’s Port Jefferson at 11.15am Saturday when she was pronounced dead, the local county police said.
The woman, whose name was not released, was reportedly taken to the OB Davis Funeral Homes in Miller Place, New York, at 1.30pm. Police said she was discovered breathing at 2.09pm.
The woman was taken to a hospital. No update on her condition was available Monday.
The apparent premature declaration of death occurred days after a continuing care home in Iowa was fined $10,000 (£8,320) over a similar case.
Authorities in Iowa said that a 66-year-old woman was declared dead on 3 January at the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Urbandale, Iowa, where she was receiving hospice care.
The woman was placed in a body bag and taken to the Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory. The funeral home’s staff members then unzipped the body bag to find the woman alive and gasping for air, the New York Times reported, attributing the information to a citation from the Iowa department of inspections and appeals. The facility staff called 911 and she was returned to hospice care, where she died on 5 January, the Iowa inspection and appeals department said in a report.
Police said that the New York case has been referred to the state attorney general’s office for investigation.