Madison
76° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Advertisement

'Dead' patient's organs nearly removed

Published On: Jul 09 2013 02:50:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2013 03:06:28 PM CDT
Doctor with scalpel, surgery blurb

iStock

In a disturbing case of medicine gone wrong, a New York woman's organs are nearly removed after doctors thought she was dead.

Colleen S. Burns, 41, suffered a drug overdose in October 2009 and was taken to the emergency room at St. Joseph's Hospital Center in Syracuse, The Post-Standard reported.

Although a nurse told doctors she was recovering, she was eventually pronounced dead.

Her family, after speaking with doctors, agreed to remove Burns from life support and gave the hospital permission to harvest her organs, according to an investigation by the state Health Department.

But Burns was far from dead.

In fact, she appeared to be breathing independently from a respirator and her toes curled downward during a mandatory reflex test, The Post-Standard reported.

Despite those signs, a nurse administered a powerful sedative and doctors were just about to cut into her when Burns opened her eyes.

Her family never sued the hospital, which was fined just $22,000 over the incident even though they never explained what went wrong.

While the fines were handed down in 2012, they were first made public in a report obtained by The Post-Standard on Sunday.

Burns fully recovered from the overdose, but committed suicide in January 2011, her mother told the newspaper.

Advertisement
  • Kenneth Bae, Matthew Miller, Jeffrey Fowle

    CNN

    Who are 3 Americans detained in North Korea?

    Matthew Todd Miller, a 24-year-old from California, has been convicted of "acts hostile" to North Korea and sentenced to six years of hard labor. Learn more about the three Americans currently being detained in North Korea.

  • iOS 8

    From Apple

    Best new Apple iOS 8 features

    Apple's iOS 8 is here, and it's packed with slick new features. Take a look at some of the best changes to the latest version of the popular mobile operating system.

  • Testing for Ebola

    REUTERS/Misha Hussain

    Common myths about Ebola

    At least eight Ebola aid workers and journalists were reportedly murdered in a remote village in Guinea in a brutal example of growing distrust locals have of foreigners coming to help stem the mushrooming health crisis. Take a look at common myths about the deadly virus.

  • C3K-EVENTS

    Events calendar

    Looking for something to do? Visit Channel 3000's events section featuring dining, food, music and family-friendly events throughout Madison and the surrounding area.

  • Get your weather app

    Channel3000.com and WISC-TV3 deliver local forecasts, live radar, school closings and alerts for Madison and South Central Wisconsin to iOS or Android devices.

  • Learn more about WISC-TV

    Meet the News 3 staff, learn about our newscasts, search our job postings and find out how to contact us.

Advertisement