• Sweden edition
 
Swedish docs cleared over misplaced colon

Swedish docs cleared over misplaced colon

Published: 01 Jul 2009 11:06 GMT+02:00
Updated: 01 Jul 2009 11:06 GMT+02:00

The faulty operation took place in January at Malmö University Hospital on a patient who had previously had surgery for an inflamed rectum following treatment for prostate cancer.

Doctors were planning to carry out a sigmoidostomy, a procedure whereby the patient is given an artificial anus through an opening in the sigmoid colon.

But following the procedure, the doctors managed to sew the man's lower intestine to his bladder.

After the operation, one of the doctors admitted he noticed a difference in the thickness of the intestinal wall and what turned out to be the bladder as he stitched the two together.

“I obviously misjudged the anatomy in the minor pelvis,” wrote one of the doctors in a post operative report cited in a ruling by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen).

“In hindsight there are signals that should have made me realize I was on the wrong track. I still can’t, despite going over things several times in my mind, really explain how I could have made such a serious misjudgment of the anatomy.”

The health board’s investigation also revealed that, for certain periods of the complex procedure, only one surgeon was at the operating table.

In addition, one of the doctors admitted that he was “weighed down with social problems” and as a result was “mentally out of sync” at the time of the operation.

The botched operation was repaired in a subsequent surgery four days later, but still resulted in a number of serious complications for the man, forcing him to endure a prolonged hospital stay.

While the health board was “highly critical” of the doctors for not taking a “time out” or asking a colleague for help in light of the operation’s numerous anomalies, it nevertheless elected not to sanction the surgeons for their mistake.

According to the agency, the blunder can be attributed to “the sum of a series of unfortunate circumstances” including a heavy workload for the doctors involved.

“There is nothing to indicate it was deliberate carelessness or that the professionals involved pose a risk to other individuals,” wrote the Board of Health of Welfare in its ruling.

In the future, the agency said it plans to keep close watch over how the workload of doctors at the hospital may affect patient safety.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

11:51 July 1, 2009 by Random
That is absolutely bs!!

How can this happen, and the surgeon 'gets off'

I cannot believe some of the antics I read about here in Sweden....is that really acceptable??
12:45 July 1, 2009 by Tennin
The doctor isn't at fault!?! I'm speechless. Thank you Swedish hospitals, doctors, and health authorities for all the mistakes they can do on patients and get away with it. Makes me never want to go to the doctors now.
13:58 July 1, 2009 by Morenikeji
Comment: In my opinion the Swedish health care system is a sham (shameful too!), an absolute disgrace to a country that prides itself on high standard. Misdiagnosis, wrong treament, wrong medication couple with non-charlant attitudes of health workers are factors one must always take into consideration whenever one is contemplating seeking a medical help in Sweden. At the beginning of this year I went for consultation on HBP. The doctor took less than ten minutes to write me a prescription without telling me anything about the side-effects of the drugs and the things that can trigger a side-effect. I was lucky to check the internet and found that sucking a slice of grape with the drug could have caused a sudden heart-attack and possibly death. I rang up the doctor afterwards to ask if that information was true and he confirmed it. He said that he was stressed at the time. Well that seems to be the classical explanation for unprofessional and incompetent behaviour in that sector.
14:12 July 1, 2009 by Jeffi
Ask for a time out? "A series of unfortunate circumstances"? Swedish doctors noted for their appalling performances in the UK, an 'accidental" vasectomy and this? Good grief. I pray I never get sick enough to need a doctor here!
15:56 July 1, 2009 by Harding00
Mistakes happen, I understand that, but to not hold people accountable is just downright wrong and unethical. But was this botched surgery really accidental (I am not saying it was intentional, but accidental means there was really no way of avoiding it)? The article states that "The health board's investigation also revealed that, for certain periods of the complex procedure, only one surgeon was at the operating table." I'm not a doctor, and won't pretend to be, but there is something odd about that sentence. Oh wait, It's probably standard procedure to have a least two surgeons at all times so mistakes like these don't happen! And since the health board cleared the doctors, does this mean the patient can't sue them for medical malpractice?
16:36 July 1, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Mistakes happen, just live with it!

Why should a doctor be accountable for a little mistake when a computer nerd can screw up a line of code and cause customers an inconvinience and companies large sums of money and not even get a slap on the wrist.

Remember this is Sweden and we belive in Jantelägen (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jante_Law if you don't know what it is). By making a doctor accountable for his mistakes and expecting perfection from everything they do, then we are elevating the doctors role and importantce in society and implicitly saying that they are better than the rest of us.

Get real, this is Sweden!
16:37 July 1, 2009 by Jeffi
Going in for a prostate biopsy any time soon, Renfeh?
17:58 July 1, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
Americans, take note of how socialized healthcare operates.
22:16 July 1, 2009 by Greg in Canada
"Why should a doctor be accountable for a little mistake "

If it was your operation they screwed up would you still feel the same?
23:15 July 1, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
I was being a little sarcastic, ok totally

This has got nothing to do with socialised health care and all about societies attitudes, expectations and accountability

If the US offered universal free health care and doctor made mistakes, those doctors would be still sued out of existance.

I always find it funny how both Swedes and Americans use each other country as an example of "what will happen if ..."

Both countries are polar opposites in many areas. Sweden will never become like the US as it moves to the right and the US will never become like Sweden with a left swing.
07:41 July 2, 2009 by Bender B Rodriquez
If you don't know how to use those dots - just don't use them. It is jantelagen, not jantelägen.
12:20 July 3, 2009 by ameribrit
Jantelagen, that's funny! If we are all of equal worth then why does a physician get paid such a stupid amount of tax payer money but a, (insert your occupation here) of "equal worth" has to make do with less.

If only Sweden would wake up and realize that it actually could be the way it pretends to be.
12:56 July 3, 2009 by skane refugee
In the above quoted thread a few months ago relating to another Swedish medical scandal, Puffin seemed to be able to demonstrate that there was a system for dealing with medical malpractice complaints in Sweden.

My question to anyone who can answer is 'what exactly were those doctors doing that did get punished/suffered some sort of penalty' under the existing system ... since it seems that many fairly extreme cases are happening regularly with no apparent consequences for the medical practitioners concerned ...
20:06 July 3, 2009 by volvoman9
What vocation is without it's mistakes? Do we sanction all mistakes in the workplace. We have long held the medical profession to standards that we do not hold anyone else to. We need to be realistic here. Does punishment minimize risk exposure? Who knows? Should the patient be compensated? Perhaps. However as we continually raise the bar for physicians often in hopes of a monetary reward fewer of our brightest and best will find reason to pursue this vocation. It's much easier to make big money screwing people in the political, oil or banking industries than spending years in school only to gamble with the specter of ruin for one mistake. Now a pattern of mistakes signals another issue altogether.
21:31 July 3, 2009 by skane refugee
Isn't the use of that expression such a grievous and blatant breach of 'jantelagen' that it's grounds for immediate deportation from Sweden? ;o) ;o)
08:10 July 4, 2009 by Marley420
Everything worked out the best, I mean, the dry cleaners found the colon in his suit pocket. In hind sight...check your pockets before sending to dry cleaners!
16:07 July 4, 2009 by Stüpid
I did not understand exactly what you have written.

But accordingly I say... Is a Doctor getting paid salary from tax payers money?

Well why don't you think he is paying tax for you instead from his little salary(comparativey less with other countries).

Doctor works hard in his life and studies. and finally becomes a professional. It's simplw to pick garbage. With less responsibility. You just pick garbage and home.

Always blaming some professional has become a fashion in this society.

Once one doctor said... well I would be happy to stop my profession. If a doctor stops work then to make someone doctor is not easy. He can pick garbage easily and pay tax. But garbage picker cannot become a doctor so easily.

Facing something which we are not in life is something not easy. I regret if we both said the same thing... if you mentioned opposite then I do not regret it.
16:40 July 4, 2009 by Stüpid
I Don't think this rule Jantelagen works perfectly either.

If it works... then why would people compare to each other...

Why would someone buy expensive cars, clothes etc?

Why would someone go to a beauty parlour?

this guidelines. Everything cannot be equal. If everything is equal then why would there be courts? why we would behave in different manner.

We have to appreciate if someone did a good job. Otherwise the society would get worse. See the laws have changed already... no longer like before... 9 to 10 years extended 18 years and life imprisonment. The world is slowly adjusting equally.

One day this nebero will destroy all of us and we will be left with nothing.
22:26 July 5, 2009 by dtes
NO ACCOUNTABILITY FOR ONES ACTIONS IS TO BE FOUND IN THIS TOILET OF A COUNTRY!

and yet we get taxed to pay these peoples way through life, and i dont even make but 800 dollars a month.
Today's headlines
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

985
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN