Hospital Incorrectly Declared COVID-19 Patient Dead Twice, Family Claims

An outraged family has slammed a local hospital after they claimed that on two separate instances they received calls from management that their father had falsely been declared dead.

According to a report from NDTV, Gorelal Kori, 58, was admitted to Vidisha's Atal Bihari Medical College Hospital in Madhya Pradesh, India. He reportedly exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was put on a ventilator to help him breathe on Wednesday. His family was told that his condition was "critical."

But when the family came to the hospital on Thursday, they received contradictory accounts about how Kori was faring.

"A staff nurse informed the family that my father died," Gorelal's son Kailash told The Hindustan Times. "We rushed inside the ward and found him alive. The staff nurse said it happened due to some miscommunication."

Indeed, hospital management blamed a nurse for the false alarm. Dean of the Medical College Dr. Sunil Nandeshwar told the outlet that staffers "pumped his heart for nearly two hours to revive him."

The same say, the Koris were told that the family patriarch needed surgery in order to ease his breathing. Once they gave the go-ahead for the operation, they were contacted again around 8:30 pm after with the news that he had not survived.

"Later, a nurse informed us that my father died while undergoing surgery and they can't hand over his body to us because he tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday night," Kailash told The Hindustan Times.

58-year-old suspected #COVID19ON patient was declared dead twice by the staff of a government medical college in Vidisha, despite the elderly patient being alive with #Ventilator support @ndtv @ndtvindia

— Anurag Dwary (@Anurag_Dwary) April 17, 2021

The son explained to NDTV that while preparing funeral arrangements for Gorelal on Friday, they received yet another call from the hospital with claims that he was still alive.

"We reached the crematorium to arrange for his cremation but later got a call from the hospital saying that he is still alive and being shifted to a ventilator," Kailash explained to The Hindustan Times.

Kailash told The Deccan Herald that the family even received an official death certificate with the second declaration. "My brother said he wanted to see the body. When they showed him the body, it was of another person's," he said. "My brother went inside the ward to find my father on ventilator support."

Although the death certificate was promptly retracted, The Deccan Herald confirmed that Gorelal had officially succumbed to his battle with COVID-19 on Friday evening.

"They declared him dead twice. This is irresponsibility," Kailash said to NDTV.

Nandeshwar dismissed the family's claims that the hospital acted irresponsibly. "A nurse misunderstood the situation and gave the wrong information," he told The Deccan Herald. "The story is being blown out of proportion."

"We spent more than an hour resuscitating him but nobody is talking about that," he added.

Hospitals across the world are struggling to keep up with care for their COVID-19 patients. In one heartbreaking instance, a Brazilian nurse went viral for her compassionate "hand-holding" initiative that comforts critical patients by mimicking the touch of others.

COVID-19 ventilator
A man was allegedly was falsely declared dead on two separate occasions in his local hospital. Robert Hradil/Getty Images