Accessibility links

Breaking News

Russian Hospital Staff To Face Trial Over 'Horrific' Formaldehyde Death

Russian hospital personnel will be prosecuted for the "horrific" death of a patient who was mistakenly injected with formaldehyde, which is used to embalm corpses, an official says.

Members of a medical team blamed for the death of Yekaterina Fedyayeva have been fired from their jobs at a hospital in the Volga River city of Ulyanovsk and will be tried, regional Health Minister Rashid Abdullov said on April 9.

After a successful surgery on March 15, a nurse misread the label of a container of fluid and Fedyayeva, 28, was injected with a large amount of formaldehyde instead of a saline solution, Abdullov said.

Staffers concealed the mistake for 24 hours, which helped ensure the "tragic end of this horrific ordeal," he said.

"Urgent steps should have been taken. The information should have been reported immediately.... Time was wasted," Abdullov said. "The medical team was fired due to the tragedy. They will surely face trial."

Doctors in Ulyanovsk tried to save Fedyayeva for four days and then decided to transfer her to a top hospital in Moscow, where her condition improved somewhat, but she died of multiple organ failure on April 5. She was buried on April 7.

The mistake occurred when Fedyayeva was recovering from an operation to remove an ovarian cyst, Russian media reports said.

They said one of the hospital staff members who has been fired was its chief doctor, Vladimir Dyomin.

Investigators are treating the death as a case of fatal negligence, which is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Formaldehyde is infused into the veins of the dead to prevent decomposition.

With reporting by Federal Press, RIA,, RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service, RT, and BBC
  • 16x9 Image


    RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.