Anger after baby's body stored in freezer

2014-01-04 10:38

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Johannesburg - Lenmed Private Hospital has admitted placing a baby's dead body in a freezer, rather than in the hospital's cold room, The Saturday Star reported.

The baby, named Aaliyah, was born premature and underweight on 23 November and died in the Lenasia private hospital on 18 December.

Her grandmother, Prudence Andrews, told the newspaper that when the family went to collect the baby's body the following day, the nurse led them to a freezer, like those usually used to store meat, then took out a parcel wrapped in plastic and sealed with a sticker.

"We didn't make anything of it until she lifted the sticker and unwrapped the bag - my granddaughter was inside," Andrews said.

Lenmed's medical director Dr Ahmed Kaka said that the freezer was used for storing human tissue, such as placentas, before the tissues were properly disposed of.

On Thursday the family received flowers and a letter from the hospital, but were shocked that the letter did not make reference to the freezer incident or contain an apology.

Andrews demanded the letter be re-written and on Friday, Kaka wrote a letter apologising for the error, which he said was "never meant to be insensitive or disrespectful".

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