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Woman Wrongly Pronounced Dead And Taken To Morgue Dies Of Hypothermia

Jake Massey

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Woman Wrongly Pronounced Dead And Taken To Morgue Dies Of Hypothermia

A woman was found to be alive while being tagged at a morgue - but died later the same day as a result of hypothermia.

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The 62-year-old grandmother was drinking at a party with family in Vasilyevka, Russia - in the remote far eastern region of Amur - when she appeared to die.

Police took her body to the morgue, but a staff member found her to be alive while attaching a tag to her foot. An ambulance was called and paramedics spent 40 minutes trying to resuscitate the woman.

She was taken to the Belogorsk hospital intensive care unit but she died later that day, with the regions' health ministry stating she had suffered from hypothermia, according to the Metro.

Chief doctor, Mikhail Danilov, said the 'extreme cold' of the morgue impacted the woman's condition and it is possible she could have survived had she received prompt medical treatment, rather than being taken to the morgue.

The woman was found to still be alive while being tagged in the morgue. Credit: NIOSH/Creative Commons
The woman was found to still be alive while being tagged in the morgue. Credit: NIOSH/Creative Commons

A health official claims police broke protocol by declaring the woman dead themselves, without first seeking confirmation from a medical professional.

According to the Metro, the official said: "The police officer did not call for an ambulance, as required by instructions.

"He certified the death on his own, called the undertaker's and sent the body to the morgue without accompanying documents."

A police investigation has now been launched.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. A woman in South Africa was declared dead and taken to a morgue following a car crash last June. However, mortuary technicians found her to be alive in the fridge several hours later.

Operations manager at ambulance service, Distress Alert, Gerrit Bradnic, said they had 'no idea' how it happened.

He said: "We followed our procedures - we've got no idea how it happened.

"The crew is absolutely devastated - we're not in the business of declaring living people dead, we're in the business of keeping people alive.

"All the right checks were done - breathing, pulse - so the patient was declared deceased."

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Similarly, in January, a Spanish prisoner was declared dead, bagged up and taken to Legal Medicine Institute of Oviedo for an autopsy. Only there did staff hear the 29-year-old breathing and remove him from the bag.

Doctors told local media that it could be a case of catalepsy, which is a trance or seizure, where you completely lose all sensation and consciousness.

So it seems the classic horror trope of being buried alive could be a more likely occurrence than you might have thought.

Featured Image Credit: Creative Commons/Conlondave

Topics: News, Russia

Jake Massey
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