A Brazilian hospital is under fire after the family of a deceased suspected coronavirus patient buried a stranger instead of their mother because the facility had mixed up the bodies.
The incident occurred at the Santo Andre Hospital Centre in the Metropolitan Region of Sao Paulo in south-eastern Brazil after Amir Martins da Silva, 92, was admitted to the facility after falling and breaking her leg.
Her condition reportedly worsened and the hospital told her family 15 days later that she had died, with coronavirus suspected to be the cause of death.
Her son Nelson Gil da Silva said he went to the morgue with a funeral director but was told he could not see his mother’s body due to coronavirus protocol.
He says the body was placed “in two bags and the coffin sealed” as part of the protocol and they then buried their mother without holding a wake, as is recommended by the government.
However, after the burial, the hospital contacted the family to say they had buried the wrong body.
The son said: “When we were coming home, we received a call saying that the body had been changed, that there had been a mistake. At the hospital they say that it was not their fault, that everything was properly labelled. They said that it was supposed to have one on the chest, one on the feet and one on the outside of the plastic bag, but this one on the outside of the bag wasn’t there, it wasn’t put on.”
The family had actually buried a man named Francisco Carlos da Silva, 54, who had died with symptoms of COVID-19. The family of the elderly lady then found out that their mother had actually died of bronchial pneumonia, not COVID-19 as they had been told.
The body which was buried, that of Francisco Carlos da Silva, will now reportedly be exhumed to allow his family to bury him, while the body of Amir Martins da SIlva remained in the morgue and will now also be buried.
The son said: “The worst thing is we have to go through it all again, the same sadness and anguish.”
Both families registered police reports about the incident and an investigation has been launched with the local prefecture.
The ViralTab page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.