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Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52

A Moscow hospital discharged a woman who complained of fever. She died near her home one hour later.

Source: Meduza
Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52
Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52
Vladimir Gerdo / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

A resident of Moscow’s Marfino district died on a bench near the entrance of her home on April 18, within an hour of being discharged from the hospital, according to the news agency TASS. According to the TV channel REN and the Telegram channel Baza, the woman’s name was Elena Chuklova. She was just 48 years old.

Elena Chuklova was admitted to the Moscow City Clinical Hospital No. 52 on April 17 with a suspected case of pneumonia, according to the city's Health Department. She reportedly complained of weakness and a fever of 37-37.5 degrees Celsius (98.6-99.5 degree Fahrenheit). Mash and REN also reported that she showed signs of liver cirrhosis.

According to the Health Department, doctors examined Chuklova, performed a COVID-19 test, and did a CT scan of her lungs. However, the medics did not see any changes to her lungs and the coronavirus test came back negative. “A suspected coronavirus [case] was not confirmed. In this context, and in the absence of the symptoms that are grounds for hospitalization, the patient was discharged the next day, April 18,” the department said. On the other hand, Mash claims that Chuklova was only discharged after the doctors were unable to get in contact with her son.

On the day she was discharged, “the patient was active [and] moved independently”; she took a shared minibus home from the hospital, the Health Department reported. They also noted that a group of social workers helping residents near Chuklova’s home met her when she was dropped off. 

In a video from REN-TV, men in white protective suits can be seen helping Elena Chuklova out of the minibus and leading her to a park bench. Three women in medical masks then approach her and, after seeing that she was feeling unwell, called an ambulance, as well as her son. The ambulance arrived within 11 minutes, at which point doctors pronounced Elena Chuklova dead. 

While media reports claimed that the social workers left Chuklova to die on the bench, REN’s footage shows that only the mini bus had left the area by the time the ambulance arrived. The three masked women were still there at the time of death. 

Warning. The video below shows Elena Chuklova in the final moments before her death.

According to the Moscow Health Department's internal investigation into Chuklova's death, an autopsy revealed that she died of congestive heart failure arising from cardiomyopathy, as well as severe organ damage due to alcohol consumption. “There are no signs of pneumonia or infectious disease,” health officials clarified. 

Russia's Healthcare Surveillance Federal Service, Roszdravnadzor, has also launched an investigation into the woman's death. Local healthcare regulators are also planning to inspect the hospital where Chuklova sought medical assistance. According to TASS, law enforcement agencies have also initiated a preliminary investigation.

Text by Alexander Baklanov

Translation by Eilish Hart

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