Moscow, Russia: A Russian woman Ekaterina Fedyaeva, 27, was embalmed alive after she was put on a formalin drip instead of saline. Formalin drip, a solution containing formaldehyde is an embalming fluid drug used to stop corpses from decomposing. The medical blunder which occurred during what was supposed to be a routine surgery is now the subject of a criminal investigation in Russia.
Typical embalming fluid contains a mixture of formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, methanol, humectants and wetting agents, and other solvents that can be used.
Ekaterina Fedyaeva was in hospital in her home city of Ulyanovsk, Russia, for an unspecified but routine surgery when she was injected with formalin, normally infused into the veins of the dead to prevent decomposition.
Ekaterina suffered horrible pains and convulsions for two days before falling into a coma.
She was attached to a life support machine but her heart stopped beating several times.
After being flown to another hospital, in Moscow, she briefly woke from her coma before dying of multiple organ failure, according to reports.
Her mother Galina Baryshnikova and husband Igor were with her when she came round from the surgery in her ward.
“Her legs were moving, she had convulsions, her whole body was shaking,” said her mother.
“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.
“No doctor came to see her although she was coming round from anaesthetic.”
The bereaved mother said: “We had no idea it was formalin. Now I understand that formalin was simply eroding her body from inside.
“People who performed the surgery already knew that they infused something wrong. They needed to take some urgent measures — but they did nothing.”
Galina says she begged doctors to help but claims they told her to go home, adding: “I begged — ‘please help her, she is my only child’.”
“I think they just wanted me to go away and to hide everything.”
Ekaterina was rushed to intensive care overnight as her condition deteriorated.
“For 14 hours after surgery she was living with this formalin and they did nothing,” her mother said.
Galina went in search of doctors and found them in a huddle “discussing how to tell us that a terrible mistake had been made”.
But they didn’t admit exactly what had happened, with a female doctor allegedly telling her: “A medical mistake took place.
“She is in coma now, her heart, lungs and liver stopped working. She is attached to an artificial lung ventilator.”
Ekaterina was moved to a regional clinic where a doctor told Galina and Igor about the appalling blunder.
Medics used 52 drugs in a desperate attempt to save the woman. Then she was flown to the Moscow hospital but tragically died. Ekaterina was buried on 7 April. A criminal investigation is underway.