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Meitas šokētas, PSKUS morgā “pazaudē” viņu mammu

Morgue mix-up at Stradiņš Hospital shocks family

Following the death of a patient at Pauls Stradiņš Clinical University Hospital (PSKUS), a mix-up has allegedly happened and a different dead woman was brought to the cemetery. PSKUS assumes that the actual deceased woman has already been buried elsewhere, Latvian Television reported on January 4.

On the evening of December 24, Elza Biezā was taken from Lielvārde into Stradiņš hospital with nausea and labored breathing. Two and a half hours later, her daughters Santija and Ilze were informed of their mother's death. 

On the day of the funeral, the family went first to say goodbye to their mother. “We came to the grave and found that the woman in the coffin was in our mom's clothes, but it's not our mom,” said Santija.

Ilze added: “And that man said there that the person [after death] changed. I yelled that it's not our mother's hair! She had beautiful white hair!”

“We had seen her only a few hours before she died, a person can't change that much. And the funeral office checks the bracelet... and it's the identity of another person,” said Santija.

The minister tried to save the situation by inviting the funeral-goers to the church. Meanwhile, undertakers with the strange dead woman and the picture of Elza Biezā went back to PSKUS in hopes of switching the dead. But it was found at the morgue that it was impossible because it was likely that Elza Biezā's body had been given to others and buried. It is not clear how the mourners did not notice that. 

The daughters turned to the police, where criminal proceedings were initiated.

Gita Gžibovska, senior specialist of the Public Relations Division of the State Police, said: “The police have carried out initial investigative activities. The investigation is ongoing and a number of individuals have yet to be interviewed. State police have identified a possible grave site where the deceased may have been buried. The issue of exhumation will be examined. The other dead woman, who has not been buried, will undergo DNA expertise.”

Stradiņš hospital has also started its own inspection and apologized to the family. The hospital will also be involved in all the issues related to the finding and burial of Elza Biezā.

The principle of four eyes works in the burial process: the identity of the deceased is checked by both the morgue worker and the undertaker. But there are more and more funerals where the coffin is not opened at all. This could explain why the other family buried the stranger instead of their own.

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