Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
Russian medics have apologised after mixing up two elderly patients – getting one family to pay the medical bills for the wrong woman while giving the second the other OAP’s body to bury.
The mix-up, which was made worse because of the fact that the families could not visit the old people in hospital or look at the body when it was in the coffin, was only discovered when one family had paid the medical bills for the wrong patient and sent an ambulance to collect their relative.
The elderly woman who was then taken out of the ambulance did not know who they were, and they did not recognise her either.
They then discovered that staff at the Demikhova hospital in the capital city of Moscow had mixed up the nametags of the two people.
As a result, the family of 78-year-old Aleksandra Shutko were told that she was still alive, when in fact she had died and her body was handed to the family of Anna Artoymova.
And the family of Anna Artoymova, also elderly but whose age was not given, were told their relative had died when in fact she was alive and had been sent to be cared for by the family of Aleksandra Shutko.
Aleksandra had been hospitalised on 22nd March, suffering from complications linked to her blood sugar levels, and because of the coronavirus pandemic, her granddaughter, also named Anna, was unable to visit her.
Anna said they had paid for her treatment and added: “We got a call on 25th, and were told that our grandmother was feeling better and we could collect her.”
The family had decided to send an ambulance because of the coronavirus epidemic and because their grandmother could not walk.
But they were shocked when they went out to welcome her and discovered somebody else had been sent to them instead.
Anna, whose age is unclear, said: “I called the hospital and they told me that this is ‘my’ grandmother, and I told them that she wasn’t.”
Anna asked the woman for her name, and it turned out that the hospital had mixed to women up, and Anna Artoymova was registered as Aleksandra Shutko.
They then received the shocking news that their family member had actually died two days after admission and been handed over to the other family to be buried.
Anna noted that the other family did not do an autopsy and added: “The only thing I can say is that these women really do look alike.”
Both families are reportedly upset but accepted that mistakes happen and Anna added: “I don’t want to avenge them, the most important thing for us right now is to be able to re-bury her.”
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