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Coronavirus: Investigation after Irish hospital releases remains of wrong body to family for burial

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Irish health service's chief operations officer Anne O'Connor

Irish health service's chief operations officer Anne O'Connor

PA

Irish health service's chief operations officer Anne O'Connor

An investigation has been launched after the wrong body was released for burial by an Irish hospital.

It is understood the person had died at Mullingar Regional Hospital after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

However, the remains released to the family were those of another person.

The bodies of people who had contracted Covid-19 are put in sealed body bags in order to prevent the spread of infection.

It is understood the hospital contacted the undertaker to rectify the mistake before the funeral service took place.

In a statement, Mullingar Regional Hospital confirmed the incident, which happened just over a week ago.

It added that the incorrect body had been released from the hospital mortuary and given to an undertaker on Friday, April 24.

The Ireland East Hospital Group along with Regional Hospital Mullingar are conducting an internal review.

"Following detection, the mistake was rectified," the hospital added. "We would like to offer our condolences to the families and sincerely apologise for the distress this has caused."

The Irish health service's chief operations officer Anne O'Connor said there were procedures in place to prevent this and the incident was being investigated.

"We would hope [it is] an isolated incident - and certainly there are lots of procedures in place. It is being investigated," she said.

"Obviously it's a critical thing for us. So we would hope that certainly the policies and procedures in place will ensure that doesn't happen anywhere else."

Belfast Telegraph