A 27-year-old woman has died in excruciating agony after she was embalmed alive due to a horrific medical blunder.

Ekaterina Fedyaeva's mother has accused medics of 'murder' after they put her daughter on a formalin drip - a solution contain formaldehyde - instead of saline.

The woman had been in hospital in her home city of Ulyanovsk in Russia for routine surgery.

She was given a drip normally infused into the veins of the dead to prevent decomposition.


Ekaterina suffered horrible pains and convulsions for two days before falling into a coma.

She was attached to a life support machine and her heart stopped several times.

After being flown to a top Moscow hospital, she woke up from her coma - but finally died of multiple organ failure.

Her mother Galina Baryshnikova and husband Igor were with her when she came round from the surgery in her ward.

'Her legs were moving, she had convulsions, her whole body was shaking,' said her mother.

'I put socks on her, then a robe, then a blanket but she was shivering to such an extent, I can't even describe it.

No doctor came to see her although she was coming round from anaesthetic.'

She suffered chronic stomach pains and vomiting.

Ekaterina Fedyaeva died of multiple organ failure.
Ekaterina Fedyaeva died of multiple organ failure.

The bereaved mother said: 'We had no idea it was formalin.

'And they knew very well that they washed up her body with a poison - and they did nothing to help…

'Now I understand that formalin was simply eroding her body from inside.

'People who performed the surgery already knew that they infused something wrong.

'They needed to take some urgent measures - but they did nothing.'

She begged doctors to help - but they told her to go home, cook chicken soup and stop worrying.

'I begged – 'please help her, she is my only child',' said Galina.

'I think they just wanted me to go away and to hide everything.'

Overnight Ekaterina was rushed to intensive care as her condition deteriorated.

'For 14 hours after surgery she was living with this formalin and they did nothing,' she said.

'She is attached to an artificial lung ventilator.'

Ekaterina was moved to the regional clinic.

Here the doctor told Galina and Igor about the appalling blunder.

'It wasn't normal saline, they put formalin into her,' they were informed.

Medics used 52 drugs in a desperate attempt to save the woman, then she was flown to the Moscow hospital but tragically died.

'It is such a crime,' she said.

'I spoke to the criminal investigator, and he told me it was negligence.

'But this is pure murder.'

Ekaterina was buried on 7 April and a criminal investigation is underway.

What is formaldehyde and how is it dangerous to humans?

Formaldehyde was declared a carcinogen by the US government in 2011 but is widely used as part of embalming fluid to preserve dead bodies.

Formalin, made up of around 37 per cent formaldehyde, is a colourless, strong-smelling chemical substance used in industry and well known to preserve human corpses.

Embalmers inject at least 11.3 litres of the fluid into the cadaver's arterial system and body cavity to slow decay for burial ceremonies.

Drinking 30 millilitres of formalin can kill an adult, while drinking doses of concentrated formaldehyde can cause death from respiratory failure or lead to a coma.

It can also cause convulsions, stomach pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, vertigo and a host of other side effects.

Source: US National Library of Medicine