• Sweden edition
 

Nurse pressed vomit down patient's throat

Published: 06 Jul 2011 15:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Jul 2011 15:11 GMT+02:00

Two nurses at a home in Norrköping, in central Sweden, harassed their patients both verbally and physically. The scandal was revealed in March, but the two nurses are already back at work, according to local newspaper Folkbladet.

"This is a trauma for all of our employees," said Eva Abrahamsson, manager and the recipient of the complaints against the nurses, to Folkbladet.

"We've cried, and we've all ransacked our consciences. We're talking about defenseless people, who have to place their trust in us."

When a patient protested against the nurse's painfully hard grip, the nurse responded "don't touch me with your disgusting fingers," and "you're lying where you are, and I'd like to see you try to catch up with me," reports Folkbladet.

On another occasion, the same nurse chose not to clean up a patient's vomit, instead deciding to press the vomit back into the patient's mouth, using a bib.

The other nurse slapped a patient hard on the behind, pinched her stomach and shook her breasts, and pressed another patient's fist into her mouth.

This gruesome maltreatment, taking place over two days in March, was discovered by another employee, who then reported it.

The behaviour of the two nurses was deemed so serious that it resulted in no fewer than five Lex Sarah reports, a law obliging staff in the care industry to report instances of mistreatment to social services.

Despite this, the two nurses are now back at work after a suspension of two months for one nurse, and three weeks for the other.

"The personnel department didn't think there was sufficient cause to fire them," said Teresa Påhlsson, district manager of another area in Norrköping municipality, to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

"The nurses will, of course, be under scrutiny. All of the staff are aware of the situation. That's the good thing with them being back in the same place," said Påhlsson to SvD.

All the relatives of the maltreated elderly patients have been informed of what has happened apart from one. The vomiting patient passed away before the investigation was over.

The nurses are now working with the same elderly patients as before the incidents occurred.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

16:00 July 6, 2011 by Gletta
Not sufficient cause to fire them - spineless gutless managers not prepared to stand up for themselves or the people they care for. The whole lot of them are savages. A trauma for all of our employees - what about the patients
16:17 July 6, 2011 by Mb 65
If you did this to a child or an animal you would be arrested. lets hope that they meet the same type of person when they are old and cannot defend them selves. They should be in prison not back at work . what a shame the other nurses are so stressed out, were they blind.
16:29 July 6, 2011 by Elvine
This makes me so angry. (And afraid) "Didn't think there was sufficient cause to fire them,". What?! If that's not sufficient cause to fire somebody, what is? Those nurses should be procecuted, pay skadestånd (sorry, don't know the english word for it, damage maybe?) and _never_ be allowed to work in a care-profession ever again!
16:35 July 6, 2011 by fauna
"The personnel department didn't think there was sufficient cause to fire them," ohhhh these Swedes........
16:51 July 6, 2011 by nyh2o
how terribly sad to treat the helpless elders of the society like this :(. how can there even be questions about whether or not these heartless people should be fired? letting them keep their jobs is only making it clear to other nurses in the fascility that they can get away with this as well. sweden disappoints again - they don't even have a proper judicial system that the relatives of the patients can use to sue the people involved.
17:02 July 6, 2011 by jacquelinee
"The personnel department didn't think there was sufficient cause to fire them," said Teresa Påhlsson, district manager of another area in Norrköping municipality, to newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

Are you kidding me?? They should be fired and stripped of the ability to ever work in this profession again and the the personnel department and their district manager right along with them. The laws need to be changed here. In North America they would sue them blind AND they would win. This is a human disgrace.
17:06 July 6, 2011 by chima_arsenal
The system here just never ceases to amaze me, this is not enough reason to fire or prosecute them, its not against the law to text or use your phone while driving and many more, yet a kid who touched the head mistress or principals bum got into major problems.
17:16 July 6, 2011 by Swedesmith
Make the offending nurses eat cod worms.
18:38 July 6, 2011 by Dazzler
Where are all the good vigilantes at these days?
18:39 July 6, 2011 by jacquelinee
If anyone cares enough to email the minister of health and welfare for children and the elderly her name is Mar ia Lar sson and there is an email form for her at w w w dot sweden dot gov dot se backslash sb backslash d backslash 211
21:07 July 6, 2011 by elepaol
I've always thought the level of a society's civilisation is in the way it takes care of children and elderly. Is this the well acclaimed Swedish "lagom" ?
22:22 July 6, 2011 by i know nothing
This is what happen when people are working just for the salary and not because they love their jobs.

Were it a child that was maltreated in this manner it would have been a prison sentence but since it is an elderly who cares? This makes me wanna throw up.
23:12 July 6, 2011 by el dorado
Thanks jacquelinee, #10

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." - A. Einstein
00:56 July 7, 2011 by johnny1939
Maltreatment of the elderly is far too common all across Sweden and other places. It is very important for the family to visit at odd times not just on a Sunday once a month. Personally, I would rather take my own life than going in to one of these places when I can no longer take care of myself.
08:56 July 7, 2011 by cogito
Johnny 1939

The only reason we heard about this case is because a temporary nurse (vikariat), who was leaving her job at the nursing home, dared to report it.

My guess is the other staff were aware of the elderly abuse, but did not blow the whistle because they feared repercussions.

"We've cried, and we've all ransacked our consciences," says manager Eva Abrahamsson.

Right. And now let's all get back to the business of abusing the oldies
11:03 July 7, 2011 by jacquelinee
this is a repost just in case it got lost in the middle here.

If anyone cares enough to email the minister of health and welfare for children and the elderly her name is Mar ia Lar sson and there is an email form for her at w w w dot sweden dot gov dot se backslash sb backslash d backslash 211
11:49 July 7, 2011 by goober
Jacqulinee

I agree with you totally. Nothing ever happens if everyone sits back and tutts and then does absolutely nothing. Sadly this seems to be a problem here, swedes do tend to be a little supine.

A good example of this was how all the government transcripts of the tsunami disater have been unavailable for scrutiny (something to do with national security)........a little bit of tutting and then nothing.

I have just sent the following e mail to Maria Larsson;

If this article in The Local is even approaching the truth I would be very interested to know your departments position on the response from Teresa Påhlsson.

www.thelocal.se/34778/20110706/

If this behaviour occurred in a dagis I feel quite convinced not only would the employee be dismissed there would then follow a prosecution.

Does your department take the line of zero tolerance towards the maltreatment of the elderly and if so why were these 2 nurses allowed to continue working with the elderly?

Feel free to reply in swedish.

Be interesting to see the response.
12:43 July 7, 2011 by PoJo
The teacher who slaps a student because of bad behaviour gets judged and has to pay damages, the parents who slap their child because of bad behaviour have to pay damages, the guy who raped the sheep has to go to prison and pay charges for the sheep. The nurses who maltreated the elderly in horrible ways get a suspension of three weeks. Hmmm... what does this say to me? Do not get old in Sweden!
08:57 July 8, 2011 by cogito
@goober,

Good letter. I did the same. Also added, "theLocal" is an English language publication covering Sweden and is read around the world."

Bad PR for Se.

Not that I believe Maria Larsson cares one whit. But, as you say, we should try.
10:20 July 8, 2011 by Ansgard
An outrage, obviously.
11:49 July 8, 2011 by jacquelinee
@goober and cognio
12:39 July 8, 2011 by pinnypie
disgraceful, I am eposting Maria Larsson!
12:46 July 8, 2011 by jacquelinee
@goober and cognito (we agree)

Sorry, my post was censored, not sure who so I will repost.

Thank you both so very much for your action. My mom was in a home for the elderly suffering with alzheimers. She died this past march. It enrages me to think there was a possibility she was treated so inhumanly.

I have set up an account on a social networking site that EVERONE knows ;-) and have posted new articles on this crime in both swedish and english, also Maria Larsson's position and epost address and encouraged everyone to send her a email demanding these nurses be fired and stripped of their right to work in this field as well as the useless excuse for a human being who reinstated them. This has sent the message that the elderly are worthless and do not need to be treated with respect, dignity and kindness. Apalling decision!!

The profile on Fa--B--k has met with very positive feedback and people as far away as North America are sending Maris an email demanding action. Later today, I am making an online petition and hope to post it anywhere and everywhere I can.

I am ashamed of this decision the authorities made for these nurses. The elderly paved our world, built the foundations that let us enjoy the many advances in humanity, in technology, medicine, government, and every other area of human existence. They raised us, educated us, fed us, changed our diapers as children. They are responsible for our very existence and should be treated as royalty instead of worse than animals.

Goober and Cognito, thank you again for taking a stand. I am proud.
17:48 July 8, 2011 by cogito
Jacqueline,

Full credit to you. If you hadn't posted Larsson's address. and suggested we walk the walk rather than just talk the talk, I do not think it would have occurred to me to write. If you're in Sweden long enough, you sort of lose your capacity for outrage. Thank you for re-awakening it.

My sympathy for the loss of your mother.
18:21 July 8, 2011 by zoroastrina
I am sickened by this report. [g]od created human beings in his/her/its image. Many, if not the majority, of the homines sapientes regressi are monsters, not essentially dissimilar to their deity, who like these evil spirits may be the devil incarnate. Many of the persons employed in the nursing profession neither possess a deontology nor understand what it is. The report makes me puke. Duty ethics are a dead cause. There have being similar reports of caregivers in England and, even much worse, in the socially disintegrated and Disunited States of America, where "caregivers" have severely abused their charges. Ugh! Nursing homes as death asylums!
18:33 July 8, 2011 by jacquelinee
@cognito @goober

this morning I created a petition Justice For The Elderly I will post it below as before;-) It was posted on the F-ce B--K page plus I sent a letter to the Ellen Degeneres Show with a link to this article, Maria Larsson (the minister of health) post address and a link to the petition. I also sent a copy of this correspondence to Maria Larsson Immediately afterwards. Here is the epost sent to Ellen and Maria

I have sent to the Ellen Degeneres Show as well as a petition I have set up to

have thse two criminal nurses fired and their superior who reinstated them as well .

It is as follows....

I became aware of this article and it has enraged me Two nurses who degraded, neglected and abused elderly people at a care facility in Norköping Sweden were reinstated after a 2 month suspension and 3 week suspension respectively.

They are back at the same care facility caring for the same people except for the one poor woman who was forced to eat her own vomit, she passed away.

This is an outrage and bullying at a high level. Maria Larsson, The Swedish Minister Of Health for the eldery has turned a deaf ear.

Swedish people love your show. Here is a petition I have made.

Is it possible for you to help? I will send Maria Larssons epost link also.

PLEASE HELP!

Thank you Ellen, my mom was in a facility, she died in March of Alzheimers. Your momma is at that age too. It makes me sick to think of them being

treated this inhumanely.

ht t p: backslash backslash w w w dot petitionspot dot com backslash petitions backslash justiceforelderly

Thank you goober and cognito and everyone else to took a stand to speak to those who could not speak for themselves.
23:10 July 8, 2011 by Protonius
For those who are interested, you can find the email address to the clerk of the Health Minister (Ms. Larsson) via www DOT regeringen DOT se / sb / d / 7545 .

As an American who has a foot in the US and a foot in Sweden, -- and as a person who has seen, in-depth and first-hand, things that can go on inside hospitals and facilities where young as well as elderly are patients -- this story really "struck home" for me.

I believe that we should ALL protest against such cruelty and (in my view) incompetence as are described in this news item.

Thus, I have both signed one of the above commenter's petitions about this matter, via www DOT petitionspot DOTcom / petitions / justiceforelderly, and I have emailed Minister Larsson directly (via her clerk) via the e-address that I've already mentioned.

Perhaps it would also be wise to email the producers of Swedish TV's investigatory news-magazine programs -- but for the moment, I'll leave that up to others to dig into.

But, bottom line: I urge everyone who shares a sense of concern, and of what's right, to NOT let this issue drop, but to instead PURSUE IT, and NOT let the authorities, managers, nurses, or womever has a hand in allowing these reprehensible events to occur, off the hook.
02:46 July 9, 2011 by jacquelinee
THANK YOU Each individual can make a difference if they stand and use their voice
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