• Sweden edition
 

Swede with broken neck sent home on painkillers

Published: 29 Feb 2012 14:44 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Feb 2012 14:44 GMT+01:00

When the ambulance arrived the man was asked to walk to the vehicle himself and travelled to the clinic without a neck brace, the man wrote in his report according to local paper Länstidningen.

The doctors at the clinic twisted and turned the man's head in all directions during the examination, finally concluding that he must be suffering from a severe muscle sprain in the neck.

However, as his neck pain wouldn't go away and he became dizzy when standing up, the man went back to the doctor's surgery, where his arm and shoulder were x-rayed. He was then sent home with some painkillers, reports the paper.

Three weeks went by in the same fashion before the man gave up and went for a new consult at a different clinic. While there, his neck was finally x-rayed and after the images had been examined, the man was sent to nearby larger town Östersund.

At the Östersund clinic, he was told that the injuries were too complex to be treated there and the man was told to hold completely still, as the vertebral column was unstable.

According to the doctors at the Umeå hospital where the man was sent next, his neck was in fact broken.

The man had been very lucky, however, as his neck only remained in position when he was lying down.

Every time he moved or sat up his vertebral column moved three centimetres, which is enough to risk causing paralysis, according to the paper.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

16:21 February 29, 2012 by gabeltoon
I am becoming increasingly worried about the healthcare system in SWEDEN.As i'm hoping to travel to SWEDEN i'm worried if anything were to happen to me would i be given treatment and assistance as good as i have had in SCOTLAND. This story is worrying i hope the guy is ok.
16:44 February 29, 2012 by strixy
Not much better in Norway. My hubby broke a small bone in his hand and it has been put together so great his knuckles are in completely different places now!
17:20 February 29, 2012 by Tennin
Sadly, I'm not shocked anymore about the docs and hospitals here.
17:22 February 29, 2012 by cogito
@gaveltoon (#1)

You should be woried--very worried--about the healthcare system in Sweden.

Do a search to see the numerous stories of screw-ups.
17:58 February 29, 2012 by philster61
Is he gonna sue them?
19:51 February 29, 2012 by zooeden
No fripping body sues here, the most you get your case on tv or in the local and then they will have a time to reflect on the matter forever and the cases pale up while they are still thinking what to do...

Roll them heads and start hiring professionals!!!!
20:19 February 29, 2012 by dizzymoe33
I had to call for an ambulance last Thursday morning for my mom. There were two ambulances within 10 minutes of my phone call at my mom's house. The four EMT personnel treated her quickly and with respect and concern. They got her to the Emergency room at the Hospital very quickly and worked on her and treated her respectively. The nurses and doctors worked on her quickly with care and concern. I don't know why this is so difficult in Sweden. I guess they just don't really care about their patients?!!
20:21 February 29, 2012 by jonW
Amazing I had exactly the same,fell down the stairs in my london house in 1984 knocked myself out,was taken to hospital with a fractured skull,spent two days in hospital and was sent home signed off for three weeks.

Had a really stiff neck with dizziness, went back to the hospital and was prescribed powerful pain killers.

My company paid for private physio and she was brilliant but insisted that I have some further xrays before she commenced any treatment and yep I had broken the top two bones in my neck,so 6 months off work and five years of physio/chiropractic treatment followed.But at the end of the day this chap is a lucky guy like I was........It can happen!
20:34 February 29, 2012 by krrodman
Ask almost anyone in Sweden about healthcare in the USA and the typical answer would be something along the lines of, "there is too much wasteful spending in the USA for too little return." By and large, the criticism would be correct.

Ask almost anyone in the USA about healthcare in Sweden and the typical answer would be something along the lines of "the waits are too long for routine procedures and the government looks for ways to save money rather than save lives." By and large, the criticism would be correct.

This case is a perfect example of the problem with socialized medicine, Swedish style. A person falls down a flight of stairs and gets admitted to an emergency department(ED). The doctor on duty has a simple choice. Choice A: he can get a neck x-ray on every patient that arrives in his ED after a fall or Choice B: he can examine the patient and try an determine if the neck injury merits an x-ray.

A doctor in the USA opts for choice A. Everyone gets a neck x-ray. Very expensive. Very wasteful. Completely unnecessary most of the time.

A doctor in Sweden opts for choice B. Saves money for sure. And, he will be correct most of the time; but not all of the time because it is impossible to determine the full extent of a neck injury without an x-ray.

There you have it. The problem here is not a bad doctor, but a healthcare system in Sweden that makes decisions based on financial cost.
22:05 February 29, 2012 by stevo1
Actually, I've had only good experiences here in Sweden. A family member needed a knee replacement urgently and had a procedure within two weeks, and when my son was sick with swedish flu, the hospital ED was very attentive, worked very quickly and had him on the mend in a few hours.

Really, fall down the stairs, put your head thru a door, and you go to your local clinic? what a fool!

the local clinic is for when you have a flu or cold, or a sprain, serious injury merits an actual hospital visit!
22:25 February 29, 2012 by Trenatos
You know, stevo1 is correct.

What they refer to as "local clinic" is usually not equipped to handle any severe cases. They have no emergency room, nor staff trained for that purpose.

Granted, they should have called for an ambulance to transport the man to a proper hospital where they could examine the damage thoroughly, not send him home with painkillers.
22:29 February 29, 2012 by slash_gordon
@ gabeltoon

Be VERY VERY CONCERNED! I would even consider not moving/living in Sweden unless you can get private healthcare through your employer (although private is not particularly that great either, they just listen to you more). I myself am in the process of moving out of Sweden. Healthcare is not the only reason, but definitely plays a major role. Just read krrodman's post. I can speak through experience to say he's spot on!
23:43 February 29, 2012 by Jazz_breeze
someone mentioned to me is that the only thing which gets attention to any doctor even in emergency is Blood. Even if you are bleading but is consious...its not emergency here. Can we do something for the improvement of healthcare system. I think, Its not that bed but yes needs some kind of attention.
06:32 March 1, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Former UK Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock warned people before the 1983 General Election that if 'Margaret Thatcher wins' - "I warn you not to fall ill"

The same advice seems to apply if you are living in Sweden; to be fair, I once needed some stitches for a cut, and the Swede hospital did that alright - but against that, I had my hearing damaged by incompetent medical procedure at CityAkuten.

This poor guy: it seemed to take a long time for someone to decide his neck was broken
08:42 March 1, 2012 by karex
@stevo

The problem is that when you show up at the emergency room here, if you're not gushing blood all over their floors through a severed artery, they will first ask you if you have booked an appointment. Yes, that's right, you need an appointment for the emergency room. Then they will tell you that you have to go to your local clinic and get an appointment and come back another day. Once you have an appointment they can make you wait up to 6 hours (beyond the time stated in your appointment) before anyone sees you, and in my case, another hour in the examination room waiting for the doctor to show up. Were it not for the fact that I self medicated, I would have been dead - I was suffering a major vascular incident.

A Swedish friend of mine left Sweden for good never to return. he said, and I quote "That accursed country killed my wife". She was having a heart attack and he drove her straight to the emergency room. They made her wait 4 hours and she died in his arms in the waiting room. No one cared.
08:53 March 1, 2012 by nolikegohome
The key word is COMPASSION there is very little or no compassion is the system. The knowledge is at par with the rest of the devloped world no doubt about it they have the knowledge they have the technology but they lack compassion.

Mistakes and wrong diagnosis can and do happen in all clinics and hospitals there is nothing strage about that. We often read the negative parts of the story. Seldom do they write about the good things the medical staff do.We need to rethink our approach on how to deal with humans as humans and not just personla numbers. Some Buddhist teachings could help.
09:18 March 1, 2012 by SaxSymbol73
The other problem here is the ridiculous education system for doctors. Because Swedish universities allow student to continue taking exam after exam until they pass a course, students who would wash out in the US system are allowed to remain and in many cases, eventually graduate and treat patients. The low skill level in general care is truly breathtaking and embarrassing. I had surgery last year and was very pleased, but the care at any vårdcentralen is a joke at best.
10:17 March 1, 2012 by Ter76
This is getting scary!!! My inlaws have always praised the Swedish health system, and put down the Irish system... Sorry I have issues with the Irish health system at times too but we don't send people home with broken bones, not bother to turn up in emergencies, I am still traumatized after reading about the poor women who lost her baby as the doctor said she did not need a csection.,. Makes ya really wonder how safe we actually are here and our children!
12:46 March 1, 2012 by Not Dumb
Be scared, be very scared.

I have an environmental condition that my vårdcentral says it cannot diagnose properly or treat, and refers me to the local Allergy Clinic for treatment. The Allergy Clinic then repeatedly refuses the vårdcentral's referrals, referring me back to it, my health having now deteriorated markedly and continuing to do so.

When I complained to Socialstyrelsen, citing a blatant and life-threatening denial of care, they accepted the complaint, and then decided there was no problem with the Allergy Clinic's actions. Surreal!
11:35 March 2, 2012 by cogito
"A Swedish friend of mine left Sweden for good never to return. he said, and I quote "That accursed country killed my wife" (#15)

karex,

I have met many Swedes in France, Spain and the U.S. who said they left Sweden for their health.

I waited nine hours at Emergency here. It was only a broken limb, subsequent to being hit by a car. But hey did not check me for possible head injuries, which should have been routine anywhere with proper procedures.

An elderly woman who had suffered a stroke, had been waiting only six hours.
17:31 March 2, 2012 by Dolores Claesson
When my daughter was three years old she fell off a chair and broke her arm. I took her to the ER and they said to come back the next day around noon cause they would be too busy before then. We did and the arm was broken and we spent hours waiting to ge the cast. Then my daughter went to visit her grand parents in Sweden and became ill. When she returned to America we found out that she had Borrelia, Babesia duncani, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Bartonella, Brucella, HSV 1, HHV 6, Parvo virus B-19, EBV, CMV, to name a few and now she needs IVIG for her low immune system. No one in Sweden would help her and we have asked for help in many places. I know many families in Sweden who are left to die with all these tick borne pathogens. My father in law became very ill in the Spring and we came in the summer and he went to the local clinic and was told that his bulls eye rash was not from the tick he pulled out of his chest and that his dizziness and high fever were also not from the tick and was given a small amount of antibiotics and has segued into alzheimers. Socialized medicine does not care ! Scandinavia is over run with Borrelia, Tularemia etc...This is a world wide epidemic and we need to address it now. Every country is ignoring this huge problem and the American Association called the Infectious Disease Society of America is responsible ! They have the deaths of many on their heads.
Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
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
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
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
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
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
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

989
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