Doctors bungle surgery, Russian woman ‘embalmed alive’

This article is more than 12 months old

ULYANOVSK, RUSSIA The 28-year-old Russian woman had ovarian cysts.

Ms Ekaterina Fedyaeva checked into a hospital in Ulyanovsk, a western Russian city, for what would have been a routine procedure.

But doctors at the hospital bungled the surgery which resulted in her death last week, the New York Post reported.

Instead of administering saline solution, they mistakenly gave Ms Fedyaeva formalin, a solution that contains formaldehyde - which is used to preserve dead bodies.

In short, she was being "embalmed" alive.

The medical team tried to wash Ms Fedyaeva's abdominal cavity, according to Russian news agency Tass, but it was too late.

She suffered horrible pain and convulsions for two days before falling into a coma, Mail Online reported.

She was attached to a life support machine and her heart stopped several times.

After being flown to a top Moscow hospital, she woke up from her coma - but finally died of multiple organ failure.

"Her legs were moving, she had convulsions, her whole body was shaking," the victim's mother, Galina Baryshnikova, was quoted as saying.

"I put socks on her, then a robe, then a blanket, but she was shivering to such an extent, I can't even describe it."

Mail Online reported that doctors used 52 drugs in a desperate attempt to save the woman, before she was flown to Moscow.

Family members and friends described the victim as a "sweet" and "tender" young woman who died far too soon, according to news reports.

Mr Rashid Abdullov, the Minister of Health, Family, and Social Well-being in Ulyanovsk, took to Twitter to address the tragic death.

"My deepest condolences to the family, relatives of Ekaterina Fedyaeva," he tweeted.

"This is a terrible tragedy. We will provide all the necessary aid to the family.

"Those responsible for the tragedy have been already brought to liability and the investigative agencies continue to work."


Ulyanovsk Governor Sergey Morozov and local authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the incident, Washington Post reported.

On the governor's orders, the head doctor at the hospital in Ulyanovsk, as well as other medical personnel involved in the operation, have been dismissed, according to local news reports.

If criminally charged and convicted, the medical personnel could face time in prison, according to reports.