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Huckleberries Online

Tue., July 9, 2013, 4:02 p.m.

‘Dead’ patient opens eyes during organ harvest

A Syracuse, N.Y. hospital is facing $22,000 in fines due to improper handling of patients, including one "dead" patient who opened her eyes as doctors were about to remove her organs.

The Syracuse Post-Standard reported that the New York State Health Department found St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center negligent in the case, and admonished the hospital for not adequately looking into how this mistake was made.

Patient Colleen S. Burns was reportedly admitted into St. Joseph's emergency department in 2009 after overdosing on Xanax, Benadryl and a muscle relaxant. Hospital notes obtained by the Post-Standard revealed that the doctors thought she had underwent "cardiac death." After doctors consulted with the family, they agreed to withdraw life support and donate her organs.

What actually happened was that Burns was in a deep coma from her overdose, and did not have irreversible brain damage. Read more. CBS News

And the moral of the story is?




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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.