Unplugged freezer ruins precious body parts

Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal. (QMI Agency, file)

Notre-Dame Hospital in Montreal. (QMI Agency, file)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:36 PM ET

MONTREAL — Workers at a Montreal hospital inadvertently unplugged a freezer that stored a skull fragment, complicating a woman's reconstructive surgery.

Sylvie Alain had part of her skull removed on May 14 to reduce swelling after suffering a stroke. The piece of skull was put into a medical freezer for reinsertion at a later date.

Two days after the initial surgery, Alain said staff contacted her daughter to say the bone was no longer usable.

Maintenance employees at Notre-Dame hospital had disconnected the freezer, causing cooled tissue samples to plummet to room temperature.

Microbiologists at the Montreal hospital said re-inserting the bone could have caused an infection.

"They told her there was a problem with my bones, the freezer had thawed and my bone was lost," Alain told QMI Agency.

 


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