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Family search for relative and discover he had been in morgue for DAYS after hospital blunder

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Devastated family launched desperate search for missing relative only to discover he had been in the morgue for DAYS after spectacular hospital blunder

  • A man in his 50s who had a heart attack was rushed to a Geelong hospital 
  • A hospital blunder lead the man’s relatives to think he had been discharged 
  • After a few days searching by relatives of the man he was found in the morgue 
  • Police are investigating how the man’s family were not properly notified  

A man’s family was told he had been discharged from a hospital, sparking a missing persons search, when he was actually deceased.

Victoria Police are looking into the case after receiving a missing person’s report on September 27, seven days after the man died at a Barwon Health hospital.

‘The missing persons report was lodged seven days after he’s deceased, so that’s something that has to be followed up,’ Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton told Melbourne radio 3AW on Thursday.

A man's family was told he had been discharged from a hospital, sparking a missing persons search, when he was actually deceased

A man’s family was told he had been discharged from a hospital, sparking a missing persons search, when he was actually deceased 

The man was initially taken to Barwon Health for a heart attack.

Police have established he had in fact died and are investigating why the usual death notification wasn’t followed up with the family.

‘We’re certainly chasing it up today and trying to give family as much information as we can from our side of things,’ Mr Ashton said.

‘This is clearly a case where there’s a mishap, in that the family haven’t been notified when they should’ve been notified, and we have to make sure we look at how we get that right.’

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If someone dies in hospital, the hospital usually notifies next of kin.

But in this case there ‘might have been’ an issue regarding the formal notification of the next of kin.

‘The family have gone through a week of not knowing and having to deal with that, and then, in turn, having the ongoing grief they’ve got to go through compounded by it, so it’s a sad case indeed,’ Mr Ashton said.

Comment has been sought from Barwon Health. 

Victoria Police are looking into the case after receiving a missing person's report on September 27, seven days after the man died at a Barwon Health hospital

Victoria Police are looking into the case after receiving a missing person’s report on September 27, seven days after the man died at a Barwon Health hospital 

 

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