Hospital admits wrongly putting 'Covid' on fall-victim's death certificate

A hospital has admitted wrongly listing ‘Covid’ as the cause of death on a fall-victim’s death certificate. SSM Hospital System in Lincoln County, Missouri, was forced to issue a new death certificate for Suzann Koehler after her son Gregg Jolliff disputed the document following his mother’s death in May.

Koehler died aged 69, shortly after breaking her hip. A death certificate sent to Jolliff in June listed sepsis, Covid-19 and respiratory failure as causes of death -but he immediately contested that. He was stunned when the doctor who filled out the death certificate herself admitted it was wrong.

He recalled: ‘She called me and said, “Oh, your mom didn’t die of Covid,” was the first thing she said to me, which I thought was a little odd.’ Jolliff was told he would get an updated death certificate, but the document failed to appear.

He contacted local news station Fox2 about the case, who asked an independent expert, Dr Bob Farmer, to review Koehler’s case. Farmer agreed with Jolliff after finding no trace of a Covid infection on Koehler’s medical records. He said: ‘It became obvious to me in this case that a mistake was made.’

The independent doctor said the mix-up was likely the result of an honest mistake. He speculated: ‘There’s no evidence of ill intention here and, at the end of the day, I think a simple mistake was made probably due to our health care forces being overworked and overwhelmed.’

After Fox2 got involved, a new death certificate was finally issued on December 11, with Jolliff receiving it earlier this week.

It lists his late mother’s cause of death as wound dehisence – where the edges of a wound no longer meet, meaning it fails to close – acute blood loss anemia, and protein calorie malnutrition.

Jolliff remains mystified over the mix-up, and said: ‘I’ve got so many unanswered questions and the main one is I would just like to know the truth and it’s hard when you have eight different causes of death.’

A hospital spokesman refused to comment on the case, citing privacy, but said Koehler had not been added to a hospital Covid deaths total, because she had never been tested for the disease.

Anti-lockdown campaigners and conspiracy theorists have accused hospitals of wrongly putting Covid on death certificates to inflate mortality rates, and keep people indoors.

Health officials and doctors dispute that claim, and point to the huge number Covid fatalities as evidence.

The US has recorded more than 24.4million Covid cases, and more than 406,000 deaths.

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