Madison
58° F
Overcast
Overcast
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
  • Marysville Pilchuck school shooting 4

    KOMO

    2 dead in school shooting near Seattle, sources say

    A school shooting has been reported at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, about 35 miles north of Seattle.

  • Craig Spencer

    America's Ebola patients

    An American doctor who was working with Ebola patients in Guinea was been diagnosed with the disease after returning to New York. Learn more about him and America's other Ebola victims.

  • Hot peppers

    Karimala/iStock

    Notable food recalls

    A North Carolina producer of peppers and hot sauces is voluntarily recalling 6,215 pounds of fresh serrano chili peppers because some tested positive for salmonella. Here are other notable food recalls that made headlines.

  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC

    Halloween

    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink

    CDC

    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.

Advertisement