A 20-year-old Michigan woman who was pronounced dead by paramedics on Sunday was discovered breathing after she was transported to a Detroit funeral home.
The woman was first discovered unresponsive at her home in Southfield, Michigan, on Sunday morning. Local fire department paramedics responded to a 911 call of a cardiac arrest, and attempted to revive her for around 30 minutes.
Based on medical readings and the woman’s condition, paramedics declared that she was dead.
“At 7:34 a.m. on August 23, 2020, Southfield Fire Department paramedics arrived at a home in Southfield on a call for an unresponsive female. When paramedics arrived, they found a 20-year-old who was not breathing,” Southfield Fire said in a statement at the time, reported Click on Detroit.
“The paramedics performed CPR and other life reviving methods for 30 minutes. Given medical readings and the condition of the patient, it was determined at that time that she did not have signs of life.”
The woman was transported to a funeral home in Detroit, James H. Cole Home for Funerals, where she was discovered breathing after 90 minutes by staff, who called EMS.
The 20-year-old was taken to a local hospital after examination by emergency crews.
Southfield Fire on Monday afternoon issued a clarification regarding the woman “who was declared deceased and transported to a funeral home where it was determined she was still alive.”
“A local emergency department physician pronounced the patient deceased based upon medical information provided by the Southfield Fire Department at the scene. After which, the Southfield Police Department contacted the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office to notify them of the findings and the on-duty forensic pathologist released the body to the family,” the department said on Facebook.
“The Southfield Fire and Police Departments followed all appropriate city, county, and state protocols and procedures in this case.”
The department said the city is currently conducting an internal investigation into the matter. The Oakland County Medical Control Authority (OCMCA) will also be reporting their findings to the State of Michigan Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness (BETP), the statement said.
“In an effort to provide as much transparency as possible, more information will be provided as it is available.”
“They were about to embalm her which is most frightening had she not had her eyes open. They would have begun draining her blood to be very, very frank about it,” Geoffrey Fieger, attorney for the woman’s family, told WXYZ.
“It’s one of people’s worst nightmares to imagine having an ambulance called and instead, sending you off to a funeral home in a body bag.”