A PATIENT was found alive in a body bag when a morgue worker spotted his eyes were open after being declared dead in hospital.
The family of Jose Ribeiro da Silva, 62, had even been handed a death certificate.
Cancer patient Jose was declared dead at the Hospital Estadual do Centro-Norte Goiano in Uruaçu, Goiás State, Brazil, on November 29, according to local reports.
Jose's cause of death was stated as complications from mouth cancer.
His sister Aparecida said she was told at around 8pm and the body was released to the family to begin the funeral arrangements.
Jose then spent around five hours in a body bag as he was transferred from the hospital to a funeral home more than 100km away in the municipality of Rialma.
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After arriving at the home at around 1am on 30 November, a funeral worker found the man with his eyes open inside the body bag.
The worker said he was still breathing, but with some difficulty.
The funeral home then contacted the emergency services and Jose was taken to a nearby health centre where he still remains hospitalised.
Jose’s family was also informed of the hospital mishap.
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His sister Aparecida said: “The funeral home worker called me, desperately asking me to go there, that my brother was alive.
“It's unbelievable what happened, my brother spent five hours in a plastic bag, cold. It was horrible, such a situation is totally unacceptable.”
Jose has been treated for oral cancer since the beginning of this year.
When he was pronounced dead, he was reportedly breathing through a tracheotomy inserted into an opening created at the front of his neck.
The hospital has since stated that the doctor who signed the patient’s death certificate has been dismissed.
Meanwhile, the hospital’s technical director travelled to Rialma to provide assistance to Jose’s family members.
Aparecida has filed a complaint with the police and the investigation is ongoing.
It comes after a doctor said a patient was sent to a morgue when he was still alive and may have tried to get out of his body bag.
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When the medic examined Kevin Reid, 55, the next day he was dead but his eyes were open, there was blood on his gown and his body position had moved, suggesting he died in the morgue.
He has alleged to a coroner that hospital staff tried to get him to cover up the macabre mistake by backdating the death certificate but he refused, Business News reported.
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