Iowa funeral home discovers Alzheimer's patient still alive in body bag
Covering Body in Mortuary (Shutterstock

Mortuary workers at a funeral home in Iowa were shocked to discover that a woman delivered to them in a body bag was still breathing, reported The Daily Beast on Thursday.

"The Des Moines Register reports that the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center in Iowa declared the 66-year-old Alzheimer’s patient dead on Jan. 3 and shipped her off to The Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory," said the report. "That’s where staffers saw her chest moving and called 911."

The unconscious but still-living woman was transferred swiftly to a hospital, and then to hospice care, where she died for real two days later.

According to the report, the Glen Oaks nursing home faces a $10,000 fine for the mistake.

People being declared dead while still alive is an incredibly rare event. However, historically, some Western cultures have had an obsession and fear over this happening, which led to a variety of strange inventions designed to help a person prematurely buried alert the living world that they are still alive, like triggers inside a coffin that would set a bell ringing above ground if any movement occurred inside.

But people prematurely being declared dead does really happen on occasion. In one case in 2011, a Russian woman named Fagilyu Mukhametzyanov collapsed due to a heart attack and was swiftly pronounced dead, only to wake up at her own funeral several days later. She swiftly died for good after being rushed to a hospital.

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