Citizens here in Connecticut rely on healthcare providers to give them expert medical care. This trust is fragile and is sometimes broken by the negligent actions of those who are charged with the responsibility of caring for their patients. Recently, a woman who was determined to have died was later found to have actually been alive, but then subsequently died in a hospital morgue. Medical errors like this cost a family the life of their loved one.
The incident occurred after the elderly woman had been taken to a hospital in her area in a state of cardiac arrest. Doctors there declared her dead and informed her family of their loss. She was transported to the hospital morgue and placed in a freezer, as is standard procedure. What doctors failed to realize, the family alleges, is that the woman was actually alive.
When her body was transported to a funeral home, it was discovered that she had injuries that were originally believed to have been caused by the hospital not handling the body properly. Upon more thorough investigation, it was ruled that the injuries were consistent with the theory that she had frozen to death in the morgue and tried to get out of the freezer in which she was trapped. The family has filed a medical malpractice lawsuit that is currently pending.
This tragedy involving suspected medical errors caused a family undue grief as it was almost like losing their loved one a second time. Residents here in Connecticut who find themselves in a similar situation may wish to pay attention to this case, even thought it happened out of state. A civil claim similar to one the family in this story filed could result in monetary compensation that could be used for funeral expenses and other costs that arose from such a loss. Hopefully, this family will eventually find healing and be able to go on with their lives.
Source: Washington Post, “Grandmother allegedly froze to death in hospital morgue“, Lindsey Bever, April 4, 2014