Man Alive In Morgue Drawer

HANOI -- An elderly Vietnamese man who spent seven hours in a drawer at a hospital morgue in Ho Chi Minh City was found alive by relatives who had come to bury him, an official said today.
Nguyen Van Quan, 73, was admitted to the Nguyen Tri Phuong hospital last week after complaining of a tight chest, said Thu Ba of Ho Chi Minh City's Health Department.
By the time Quan arrived at the hospital, his whole body was dark purple. He had experienced heart failure, his blood pressure was zero and no pulse was felt, she said.
Hospital staff tried unsuccessfully for 30 minutes to resuscitate him, Ba said.
Quan was sent to the hospital morgue at 11 p.m. on Aug. 15 and was discovered seven hours later by his daughter and son-in-law, who had come to take him home for his funeral, the English daily Vietnam News reported.
"I was shocked and frightened when I saw the blanket that covered my father moving as my husband and I stood in front of the drawer he was in," Nguyen Thi Gai was quoted as telling the paper.
"When the morgue's officials pulled back the blanket, my father's eyes moved, brightening with joy."
Quan was sent back to the intensive care unit where he had fallen into a coma and was breathing through a respirator on Friday, Ba said.
Nguyen suffers from asthma and had been admitted to the hospital many times before with breathing difficulties, she said.
The newspaper quoted a morgue official as saying that only one of the two air conditioners was running at the time Quan was there, which likely kept him from freezing to death.
The incident is being investigated, Ba said. Hospital officials declined comment.
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