In a case of identity mix-up because of hospital blunder, a 75-year-old Covid-19 patient in the North 24 Parganas district was declared dead last week, and his family cremated another man’s body..
Shibdas Banerjee was admitted to Balrampur Basu Hospital in Khardah on November 4, and was declared dead on November 13. On Friday, Banerjee’s family was told that he was alive while they were preparing for his “shraddha” ceremony.
A four-member inquiry committee was set up following the incident and the district health department initiated a probe. “The probe report has been sent to the state health department and necessary action will be taken,” said district Chief Medical Officer of Health Tapas Roy.
According to officials, the body that was cremated by Banerjee’s son Sanjib was that of 75-year-old Mohinimohan Mukherjee. He was also admitted at Khardah hospital the same day as Banerjee. On November 7, he was transferred to a Covid hospital in Barasat. However, the Khardah hospital sent the Barasat facility Banerjee’s medical reports, resulting in the mix-up.
When Mukherjee died, Barasat hospital officials informed Banerjee’s family and handed over the body to them. The family saw the body from a distance, and it was wrapped in protective layers as is mandated in case of Covid deaths. As a result, they did not realise they were cremating the body of a stranger.
After Banerjee recovered on Friday, the hospital staff called Mukherjee’s family, saying he was ready to be discharged. When they saw a different man, they raised an alarm and the Khardah hospital’s blunder came to light.
Banerjee’s family was then informed that he was still alive. The family arrived at the hospital late at night and took him home.
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