'Mom, I'm Dying': Error Leads to Woman 'Embalmed Alive'

Russia's Ekaterina Fedyaeva dies after injection of formaldehyde instead of saline
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2018 3:03 AM CDT
Updated Apr 14, 2018 12:40 PM CDT
Doctors Misread 'Saline' Bottle, Inject Woman With Poison
A "terrible tragedy" for a young Russian woman.   (Getty Images/PaulCowan)

A Russian woman who went for a routine procedure in hopes of soon becoming pregnant ended up dead after doctors mistakenly injected her with formaldehyde instead of saline—leading to her being "embalmed alive," per the Washington Post. Ekaterina Fedyaeva, in her late 20s, had gone in for the operation in March in Ulyanovsk to remove ovarian cysts, the London Times reports. But doctors "did not read the name on a bottle" believed to contain saline, says local health minister Rashid Abdullov, and injected her with poisonous formalin, a formaldehyde solution, instead, leading to her agonizing death. "Her legs were moving, she had convulsions, her whole body was shaking," her mother tells the Sun, adding that the formalin, typically used to preserve corpses, was inside her daughter's body for 14 hours before doctors tried to remedy the situation.

"Mom, I'm dying," her mother tells RT her daughter said after the operation, right before her organs started shutting down and she was put on life support. Doctors used more than 50 drugs in their efforts to save Fedyaeva, but it was too late, per the Sun. Fedyaeva died earlier this month. Her mother also tells the Times that right after the procedure, doctors tried to conceal what had really happened and blamed the side effects Fedyaeva was suffering on the anesthesia she'd been given. "They deliberately tried to deceive us," Fedyaeva's mother says. In a recent tweet, Abdullov called the incident a "terrible tragedy" and said those responsible are being held accountable while the investigation continues. Medical staff could face up to three years in prison if convicted of causing Fedyaeva's death due to negligence. (A 30-year-old Chicago woman died during plastic surgery.)

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