We've seen some pretty strange things happen in the world, but placing a supposedly alive man in the hospital morgue tops the list. Was the hospital staff at fault? Here's what we know about this unbelievable occurrence so far.
Investigation Into Kevin Reid's Death: Rockingham Hospital Staff Cleared Of Misconduct
Cleared Of Any Misconduct
The hospital staff member who allegedly wrapped an alive man in a body bag and placed him in the morgue have been cleared of any serious misconduct.
The 'Death' Of Kevin Reid
Kevin Reid, 55, who was admitted to the palliative care unit of Rockingham General Hospital, was announced dead last year in September.
The Body Is Transferred To The Morgue
Nurses reported that he died on September 5, after which, his body was transferred to the morgue and his family was informed but no death certificate was issued.
Hint Of Fresh Blood
The following day, one of the hospital's registrars spotted traces of fresh blood on Kevin's hospital gown.
Place In The Morgue Alive?
He even reported seeing his limbs move and stated that his eyes were open too, which led to the belief that Mr. Reid was alive when he had been placed in the morgue.
Pressure From The Higher Powers
After being questioned by a funeral director about the discrepancy between the date when the family was informed about the death and the date on the death certificate, the registrar who saw all this revealed that senior hospital members pressured him to change the man's date of death.
Appeal To Investigate The Matter
The registrar resigned from the hospital shortly after the incident and appealed to the authorities to investigate the matter in detail.
A 9 Page Report
Western Australia's Corruption and Crime Commission Department carried out the investigation and noted its revelations in a 9-page report with the conclusion that the hospital staff "didn't reach the threshold for a reasonable suspicion of serious misconduct."
The Investigation Reaches Completion
The report stated, "The Commission has completed its investigation and has not identified serious misconduct in relation to the allegation."
No Further Action
Due to the lack of evidence and no other representative of the hospital confirming the registrar's claims, the Commission concluded that "it will take no further action."
A Credible Witness
The Commission declared that the registrar was a credible witness but the evidence they found in their investigation was not enough to support claims of any misconduct.
A Clinical Review
The Department of Health's Chief Medical Officer led a clinical review under the expert gaze of the State Forensic Pathologist, but that too found no evidence of Mr. Reid being alive in the morgue.
No Evidence Of Coercion Found
The report also challenged the registrar's previous claims of being pressured by senior officials, and said, "The evidence does not establish that the senior doctor attempted to coerce the registrar."
Playing The Roles Accordingly
It further stated that the "senior doctor was entitled to ask the registrar to consider a change of date; the registrar was entitled to decline."
A Misconduct Risk
However, the investigation didn't entirely scrap off what the registrar had to say and did mention a "misconduct risk" in the paper records of the hospital.
Importance Of Electronic Records
The report stated that while "electronic medical records can be costly to implement and maintain in the hospital system, electronic records offer better security and an audit trail of access."
Keeping Up With The Technology
Paul Forden, the chief executive of the South Metropolitan Health Service assured investigators that a digital record system was being used at the hospital at all times.
Backed By Robust Policies
Talking about the matter, he stated, "We take reports of misconduct very seriously and have robust policies, practices and processes to manage any misconduct matters throughout our hospitals."
A Death Investigation Is Underway
While the possibility of misconduct by the hospital may have been ruled out, an investigation regarding Mr. Reid's death is still underway by the coroner's court.