The Health Service Executive is investigating an incident at Regional Hospital Mullingar where the body of a deceased patient was given to the wrong family.
Chief Operations Officer of the HSE Anne O’Connor confirmed this afternoon that the investigation was under way, and said she hopes it is an isolated incident.
“It’s an important and critical thing for us so we would hope the policies and procedures in place would ensure that doesn’t happen anywhere else,” she added.
In a statement, the hospital said the incorrect remains were released to an undertaker from the hospital mortuary on Friday 24 April.
“Following detection, the mistake was rectified,” the hospital added.
“We would like to offer our condolences to the families and sincerely apologise for the distress this has caused during this difficult time,” it said.
The Ireland East Hospital Group along with Regional Hospital Mullingar have convened their Serious Incident Management Team and are conducting an internal review.
The hospital said “processes and protocols have been reviewed within the hospital and its mortuary in order to mitigate this extremely rare event from happening again”.