Dead body left in UK hospital alongside living patients for seven hours
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Christine Martin, who saw the body, said that although there were curtains around the body, they "were open sufficiently for me to see this man, whom we had got to know over a period of 10 days, lying dead, face uncovered."
Officials from the hospital have apologized for having allowed the incident to occur. The son of the dead man said that the hospital acted with "utter compassion" when permitting his request to see his father's dead body in the ward.
National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde said in a statement that, "we have acknowledged to the Martins that, beyond this, there was some delay in the transfer of the patient to the mortuary and steps have already been taken to ensure that this does not happen again."
The Royal College of Nursing also released a statement on this incident. "The normal practice if someone has died in a four-bedded ward is to access a single room where the deceased could be viewed by the family and the family can have some time with the relative, and for that to be done in as dignified manner as possible," said Lynn McDowall, a professional officer for the organization. "This case highlights the campaign we're running and highlights the kind of problems nurses come across, because no nurse would want a deceased patient lying on a ward for seven hours."