A Galician family buries an old woman who was not her relative due to an identification error in the residence in which the two women shared a room

On January 13, the relatives of a woman user of the San Bartolomeu de Xove residence (Lugo) were informed by the center of her death due to COVID-19. A few days later, the woman returned, after overcoming the illness, to the facilities. There had been an "identification error" and the dead woman was, in reality, her roommate, explains the San Rosendo Foundation, responsible for the nursing home.

The deceased was buried by the family of her roommate, believing that she was her relative. The special treatment that is given to the coffins of deceased with COVID-19 made them unable to verify the identity, publishes The Progress of Lugo.

The San Rosendo Foundation has provided explanations for what happened in a statement. The confusion of identities occurred when, on December 29, 11 elderly people from San Bartolomeu positive for coronavirus were transferred to another residence of the same foundation, that of Os Gozos, in Pereiro de Aguiar (Ourense). The latter nursing home has a specific plant to attend to coronavirus cases, with independent entrance and exit. In that group of 11 people were these two women, who were assigned the same room.

An "identification error during the transfer process" led to the fact that, when one of them died, the wrong family was informed of the death, explains the San Rosendo Foundation. The transfers between the two residences were made with ambulances from the Hospital de Burela and after receiving the consent of the families and the Xunta. When it learned of the error, the foundation assures that it informed the families "immediately" and sent a letter to the courts of Ourense and Viveiro to notify what had happened and begin the procedures to "repair it."

The foundation points out that it has strengthened control measures and that it has begun to use "a more visual identification" for people who are transferred. He admits the "seriousness" of the events, which "have no precedent", but asks the families for reassurance, to whom he sends the message that it is an isolated event among more than 100 transfers made since December. At the San Bartolomeu residence there are currently 10 positives among the elderly and another 10 among workers.


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