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Florida man who was pronounced dead is found breathing minutes later


Mar 3, 2023

A 65-year-old Florida man was found breathing minutes after being pronounced dead, authorities say.

Clearwater Fire & Rescue medics were dispatched to help the man at a home in Pinellas County at 10 a.m. on February 15.

Phebe Maxwell told the NBC affiliate wfla from Tampa that she and a friend were giving her father CPR before doctors arrived.

Shortly after his arrival, doctors pronounced the man dead, according to a statement from Clearwater Fire & Rescue.

Maxwell said he tried to tell doctors that his father was still breathing.

«I’m like, ‘He’s still breathing!'» Maxwell told WFLA. «He says ‘No ma’am, he’s gone, that’s just his body giving off gas.'»

Medics left and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrived to investigate the death. That’s when an officer noticed the 65-year-old man was breathing.

At 10:28 am, a Largo Fire Department responded to the scene and took him to a local hospital.

It is unclear what caused the man’s medical emergency or what his prognosis is.

His daughter told WFLA on Monday that the man was still in intensive care and seeing a speech therapist for slow speech. She worries that he may suffer long-term effects from the incident.

“I am frustrated, hurt and angry. I don’t know what this is going to do to my dad. I don’t know what kind of life he’s going to have now,” he told the outlet.

Medics who initially responded to the scene were placed «on administrative duty and have been placed on clinical leave,» meaning they are unable to provide patient care, said Rob Shaw, a spokesman for Clearwater Fire & Rescue.

«On behalf of the city, I apologize for our team’s actions and inactions during this incident,» Fire Chief Scott Ehlers said in a statement. «We have strict policies and procedures that were not followed, based on our preliminary review. These two did not meet the standard of care that our citizens expect and deserve.»

Last month, a woman in New York was pronounced dead at a nursing home only to be discovered breathing nearly three hours later, police said.

The case was referred to the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James.

In January, a 66-year-old woman was mistakenly presumed dead at an Iowa hospice.

The state Department of Inspections and Appeals said a nurse at the facility checked the woman and found no signs of life. The resident was taken to a funeral home, where staff members saw that her «chest was heaving and she was short of breath,» the department said in a report.

The woman was taken to the emergency room. She was returned to hospice and died two days later, according to the report.

Iowa fined the facility $10,000.