Woman embalmed alive, given formaldehyde instead of saline in routine surgery

ULYANOVSK, Russia — A woman in western Russia lost her life in what should have been a routine surgery for ovarian cysts when hospital staff gave her a solution containing formaldehyde instead of saline, according to several Russian news agencies.

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It happened last month in the city of Ulyanovsk when Ekaterina Fedyaeva, 28, went in for a laparoscopic operation to remove the cysts, according to the Russian government-owned television station, RT.

Ekaterina Fedyaeva died in excruciating agony after she was embalmed alive due to a horrific medical blunder.

Posted by on Sunday, April 8, 2018

Another state-owned Russian TV station, TASS, reported that during the treatment medical staff gave Fedyaeva formalin, which contains formaldehyde, instead of saline, according to The Washington Post. Formaldehyde is used to preserve dead bodies.

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Medical workers realized their mistake within about two minutes, but it was already too late. Once the formalin entered her system it began affecting her organs.

Shortly after the operation, her organs began to fail, RT reported, and Fedyaeva did not recover and soon died.

A government official for the region called it a “terrible tragedy” in a Twitter post.

While it's still unclear exactly how the mix-up occurred, RT reported that medical staff did not read the label on the medication before administering it, according to the Post.

Fedyaeva was essentially embalmed alive.

A criminal investigation is now underway and several medical staffers at the hospital where the mistake happened have now been fired.