In a case of mistaken identity due to the blunder of hospital authorities, a 75-year-old Covid-19 patient in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district was declared dead last week, and his family cremated another man’s body that was handed over to them.
Shibdas Banerjee was admitted to Balrampur Basu Hospital in Khardah on November 4, and declared dead on November 13. On Friday, his family was told that he was alive, while they were preparing for his “shraddha” ceremony.
A four-member inquiry committee has been set up and the district health department has initiated a probe.
“The inquiry committee’s report has been sent to the state health department. Necessary action will be taken,” said district Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) Tapas Roy.
According to officials, the body that was cremated was that of 75-year-old Mohinimohan Mukherjee. He was admitted to the hospital on 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 case of mistaken identity.
When Mukherjee died, the Barasat hospital authorities 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 the blunder.
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 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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